[Marxism] struggle.ws: Cuba..socialist paradise or Castro's fiefdom?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Apr 26 11:08:13 MDT 2006

Kris wrote:
>What are your thoughts on this article? It was published in
>struggle.ws, an anarchist website.

The epigraph and first paragraph of this article betrays its political 
orientation more than any "anarchist" window dressing:

"..the major event of the twentieth century has been the abandonment of the 
values of liberty on the part of the revolutionary movement, the weakening 
of Libertarian Socialism, vis-a-vis Caesarist and militaristic Socialism. 
Since then, a great hope has disappeared from the world to be replaced by a 
deep sense of emptiness in the hearts of all who yearn for Freedom...."

('Neither Victims nor Executioners' by Albert Camus)

As Camus says, a deep sense of emptiness is felt by all those who wish for 
a revolution leading to the creation of a society which is classless and 
truly socialist. As the history of the 20th century has unfolded we have 
witnessed the repeated failure of vanguards and leaders to create the 
society for which the true-hearted revolutionaries have fought and died. 
Not so long ago most of the left held up the Soviet Union as an example of 
Socialism or something with some socialist features.


This is really rightwing bullshit. Camus wrote this book out of a deep 
conviction that Western Civilization and liberal democracy were gifts that 
should be bestowed on the backward world. It is really mind-blowing that an 
article written in 1993 would begin with a quote and favorable reference to 
Camus, who is the spiritual and political mentor to a whole range of 
rascals urging war on Iraq, from Paul Berman to Christopher Hitchens.

 From amazon.com entry for Paul Berman's "Terror and Liberalism":

Berman puts his leftist credentials (he's a member of the editorial board 
of Dissent) on the line by critiquing the left while presenting a liberal 
rationale for the war on terror, joining a discourse that has been 
dominated by conservatives. The most original aspect of his analysis is to 
categorize Islamism as a totalitarian reaction against Western liberalism 
in a class with Nazism and communism; drawing on the ideas of Camus in The 
Rebel, Berman delineates how all three movements descended from utopian 
visions (in the case of Islamism, the restoration of a pure seventh-century 
Islam) into irrational cults of death. He illustrates this progression 
through a nuanced analysis of the writings of a leading Islamist thinker, 
Sayyid Qutb, ending with some chilling quotations from other Islamists, 
e.g., "History does not write its lines except with blood," the blood being 
that of Islam's martyrs (such as suicide bombers) as well as of their 
enemies, Zionists and Crusaders (i.e., Jews and Christians). Berman then 
launches into his most provocative chapter, and the one he will probably be 
most criticized for in politically correct journals: a scathing attack on 
leftist intellectuals, such as Noam Chomsky, who have applauded terrorism 
and tried to explain it as a rational response to oppression. Berman 
exhorts readers to accept that, on the contrary, Islamism is a 
"pathological mass political movement" that is "drunk on the idea of 
slaughter." A former MacArthur fellow and a contributing editor to the New 
Republic, Berman offers an argument that will be welcomed by disaffected 
progressives looking for a new analysis of today's world.

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