[Marxism] Communist capitalism

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Tue Apr 4 10:39:30 MDT 2006


The idea that revolutionary government shouldn't invite private foreign
capitalist investment is nothing new. Probably there were people who
thought that the NEP meant the end of revolutionary government in 
the Soviet Union. The capitalist media, such as the commentary from
the St. Louis Post-Dispatch a year ago,is an example of such thinking.
Many on the left advance the same kinds of thinking, though cloaked
in leftover, leftoid verbiage

Accepting investment is a calculated gamble with its own complex, 
possibiities and dangers, as Lisandro Otero of Cuba pointed out in a 
recent Rebelion website comment on China's millionaires linked here:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/pipermail/marxism/2006-April/040725.html

Some left-minded individuals reacted the same way when Cuba took
the steps it did to legalize possession of the U.S. dollar in 1993 and
to accept significant foreign private investment. Cuba has done that
and still wants to do that, and for entirely understandable reasons,
from their point of view. They need the money and they need things
like technology and experience which they don't have themselvels.
When they wanted to develop a tourism industry, they didn't ask a
scholar of Marxism in a Cuban university how to do it, nor did they
ask any of the researchers at Cuban think-tanks to do it. They went
to Spain and Canada and invited their international hotel chains into
Cuba to help them set these businesses up and teach Cubans how to
operate them. Where else were they going to go? A wonderful look 
at the challenges inherent in doing such things can be found in the
book PLEASURE ISLAND: Tourism and Temptation in Cuba, which is
a study looking at tourism from the twenties to the present and it
is one I cannot recommend more highly as it deals with some of 
the problems and contradictions inherent in an orientation toward
tourism, and raises challenging questions for contemporary Cuba.

Of course Cuba, too, wants foreign investment and offers an array of
excellent opportunities for those willing to accept Cuban parameters:
http://www.walterlippmann.com/cuba-business-guide.html

Cuba is also becoming a terrific option for IT outsourcing as well:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CubaNews/message/44759

For these reasons, one should look carefully before leaping forward to
engage in implied denuncificationism with these kinds of practices.

Finally, also on Vietnam, which I've never visited and know little of,
my impressions are gleaned both from the Cuban media, and from a
beautiful magazine published in Cuba called VIETNAM, edited by a
Vietnamese staff and filled with photos and stories about life in
that country today. Capitalism still hasn't destroyed the people of
Vietnam, though its influence is widespread. One excellent portrait
of life in contemporary Vietnam was provided by Tony Bui's movie
THREE SEASONS. It's a film with several pairs of stories which only
overlap but don't all connect, about life in contemporary Vietnam.
Harvey Keitel is the only U.S. actor in the film, and he plays a US
soldier who goes back to Vietnam looking for the child which he
left behind. The others: a prostitude and a pedicab driver, two
children and an invisible teacher and a flower seller, each of the
pairs are affected by the insidious influence of capitalist consumer
values in one or another way, yet are not in the end destroyed.
The film ends on an open-ended note, like life iself.

Roger Ebert's review of THREE SEASONS:
http://makeashorterlink.com/?S1FE267EC


Walter Lippmann
http://www.walterlippmann.com
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CubaNews/
=============================================

LOUIS PROYECT posted this withoug comment. Perhaps he thought it
would require no explanation since its meaning, to him, was obvious.
Unfortunately, we cannot know what is in the mind of another person
and can therefore only speculate. (I'm reluctant to do that, though one
might perhaps possibly maybe try a process of guesstimation.)

>April 24, 2005 Sunday
>Communist Capitalism A full-speed-ahead economy had drawn investors 
>from around the world and improved the lives of Vietnam's people.

FULL: http://lists.econ.utah.edu/pipermail/marxism/2006-April/040753.html

LOUIS PROYECT posted this link without comment, beyond the suject line
he wrote: "New Outsourcing Opportunities in India". The actual headline of
the article was, "Childless couples look to India for surrogate mothers"
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/pipermail/marxism/2006-April/040716.html







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