[Marxism] Ricardo Alarcón - Reading the enemy's language

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Fri Aug 10 00:22:51 MDT 2007

(Those who wonder why it's necessary to read right-wing newspapers like
the Wall Street Journal or the Miami Herald, as well as books and other
materials by the right, Ricardo Alarcón helps explain what we must do so.
Also contains important points on the meaning of 21st Century Socialism.)


August 9, 2007

http://tinyurl.com/2sswhr  (

http://tinyurl.com/325tyu (Spanish)

Reading the enemy's language  	  
By Ricardo Alarcón 
Read Spanish Version

Taken from Cubadebate

(Address by the president of Cuba's National Assembly of the People's
Power during the panel 'Democracy and 21st-Century Socialism,' at the
Sixth Social Summit for Latin American and Caribbean Unity, Aug. 1,
2007, in Caracas, Venezuela.)

Alla Glinchikova, of the Russian Institute for Studies on
Globalization and Social Movements, referred to -- in this forum --
to the enemy's use of language. We have to learn that language and
also the enemy's ideas.

I agree that in the 21st Century there will be not just one socialism
but several socialisms that will take off from the previous
experiences, and I agree that we should study them in depth, no doubt
about it. But it is not enough that the leftists, socialists,
revolutionaries and those of us who think like them delve deep and
meditate just among ourselves.

To understand what happened in the Soviet Union, we must read, for
example, Margaret Thatcher's memoirs -- "The Path to Power" and "The
Downing Street Years" -- which are rarely quoted in leftist circles,
yet they speak directly in the language of the enemy.

Mrs. Thatcher explains how decisive was the strategy agreed to by her
and Reagan, which gave a turn to the Cold War and the arms race with
the so-called War of the Galaxies. They inflicted a mortal wound on
the USSR. They forced the Soviet society, which wanted to be
socialist, to invest uncontrollably in defense.

What else could the USSR do, if it saw itself threatened by a war
from outer space? [Thatcher and Reagan] identified the lacunae in
society and discovered that they had to force the Soviets to waste
their resources and intelligence on objectives that were not

Mrs. Thatcher says that the War of the Galaxies at first seemed to
her to be madness, but later understood that it was the main
objective to put an end to Soviet socialism and the Cold War. And so
it was.

What do I mean by this? That it is not only useful to look at
ourselves from within ourselves but also to study what the adversary
does and says at the same time. This poses another problem -- and on
occasion a huge challenge -- for all of us. Sometimes we must wait
decades to read key documents that explain what the enemy was doing
what it is doing right now.

When we analyze the world today, I like to turn to a document
produced by the Central Intelligence Agency. As imaginative as we
revolutionaries are, it's good to see how the CIA looks at the world
and the future.

In an analysis published by the Agency, titled "Global Trends 2010"
(which in 2000 the CIA updated to 2015, or "Global Trends 2015") the
Agency projected four scenarios of the world's likely evolution,
bearing in mind all the factors: economic, political, technological,

These four scenarios, with different possibilities of development of
a worldwide neoliberal capitalism, lead to the same conclusion: the
influence of the United States of America will continue to decline.

In the opinion of the CIA analysts, who took into account the
information from very diverse scientific sources worldwide, before
the famous attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the world already witnessed the
decline of U.S. power and saw different scenarios in the future, all
with that common characteristic.

I am sure that the report was read by U.S. conservatives, the same
who drew up the policies of an administration that sometimes is
judged rather rudely of being irresponsible, adventurous, etc. No,
they are accomplishing a mission: to try to halt that decline they
know to be irreversible, and revert -- let's use an old-fashioned
term -- "the march of time."


Let us return to the language of the enemy, and let us quote people
who are not of our own ideological bent. I wish to mention Francis
Fukuyama, perhaps the most-quoted man in the last decade of the 20th
Century. Everybody talks about him. Not everybody has read his most
famous book but everyone knows his fundamental theory.

How many of you have read the studies he wrote after his celebrated
"The End of History"? Fukuyama published that essay in 1992, but it
didn't take long before he made a serious self-criticism and
criticized neoconservative thinking by pointing out that the world
could not be governed.

It took that American bureaucrat 10 years to recognize the error, the
serious consequences of that policy. He then admitted that, despite
the fact that it emerged victorious and as the only superpower, the
United States cannot govern itself, as he himself believed in the
early 1990s.

Another researcher who is not usually mentioned in leftist circles is
Mr. Joseph Schumpeter, an Austrian-American who in 1942 published a
book, "Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy," where he formulated a
theory that earned him brickbats from his academic colleagues. They
still haven't forgiven his disconcerting statement: "One form of
socialism will inevitably emerge from the also-inevitable
decomposition of capitalism."

My only disagreement with Schumpeter's famous prognostication is over
the number of forms of socialism that will emerge. Rather, I tend to
believe that not one but many forms of socialism will emerge.

He foresaw the present situation: the final victory of capitalism on
a global scale; its inevitable decomposition when reaching that
phase; and the inevitable expression of a form of socialism.

One of the great ironies of the 20th Century is that the East-West
confrontation, the great battle embodied by the Cold War (which never
exploded but kept the world in constant alarm) was won by U.S.
imperialism, yet the moment it won, it entered its defeat phase.

For reasons that have been mentioned here, we in Latin America are
going through a stage that not only allows us to advance with forms
that are independent from socialism, but also makes us a point of
reference for others who realize that the victory of capitalism was
not real and that history did not come to an abrupt end, as Fukuyama


If we delve deeper into our history, we find that in our region we
have the most authentic expressions of socialism, with a creative,
antidogmatic vision that existed in the early days of that model in

I was very impressed by an article written after Lenin's death by
Julio Antonio Mella, the principal leader and founder of the
Marxist-Leninism Party of Cuba. He published it in February 1924 in
the journal of the Communist Party of Cuba, under the title "Lenin

Nobody in our country, at that moment, paid so many tributes and
homages to Lenin as Mella did. He talked about a figure he
undoubtedly respected and loved, but warned that he did not hope to
reproduce the Bolshevik experience in Cuba.

He said he didn't want [Cuban] communists to follow the line of some
other party; he said his party wanted to have thinking human beings,
people who would not be directed, domesticated or disciplined by
others. Instead, he said, we should be "always thinking with our
heads," we should be "thinking beings, not led beings; people, not

This young man -- he wasn't yet 21 -- said Cuba wanted a socialist
revolution, but a Cuban-style revolution.

In addition to this figure, we must remember the paradigm of Latin
American revolutionaries, José Carlos Mariátegui, who also expressed
something similar decades ago: that socialism in America will not be
a carbon copy but a heroic creation. If it is a creation, it cannot
be just one; it has to be diverse, it has to found (with heroism) one
socialism here; another, there.

That's what we're living through, as President Rafael Correa stated:
"It is not an era of change but a change of era," an era that has to
do with this declining phase of U.S. imperialism.

We need a theory for the current phase of worldwide neoliberal
capitalism, which is trying to halt its fall and regain its control
of the world.

Why does the United States today spend more on military resources
than all the countries on earth combined, more so than during the
Cold War? Why the incessant production of new and newer instruments
of death and war? To attack the Soviet Union? To attack the Axis of

Of course not. On one hand, it is a reflection of a sick economy in a
sick society. Mrs. Thatcher knew that an irrational arms race would
hasten the destruction of the USSR, while bringing more profits to
the monopolies and weapons industries in the United States and

On the other hand, the reason for these violent offensives that copy
from fascism and reproduce the mechanisms of the Cold War is that the
two countries are on the defensive, surrounded by the advancing

Undoubtedly, we need a theory for the phase of neoliberal capitalism
that attempts to halt its fall. We live in a world that offers us
many possibilities but that also poses major risks, as illustrated by
infinite evidences in the case of the current U.S. regime.

I don't know what will happen in the next [U.S.] elections, who will
be in the future nomenklaturas. But I have not the slightest doubt
that the man who occupies the White House today did not get there by
happenstance. He is the result of the action of power groups that
exist in the United States whose mentality should cause anxiety and
great preoccupation (at the very least) to every human being with the
slightest sense of responsibility.


Latin America is witness of how these people are capable of resorting
to anything in order to avoid a fall. I would commit an unpardonable
mistake if I didn't explain why I say this. Whenever journalists ask
me the usual questions -- "how is Fidel?" "when will he return to
power?" -- I ask in turn, "where is Luis Posada Carriles?"

That's what they should ask and, in passing, they should report that,
for more than two years, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has
asked for that man's extradition so he can be brought back to trial.

Faced with two possibilities -- he either extradites [Posada] to
Venezuela or puts him on trial immediately in the United States, as
obliged by international accords -- Bush discovered a better formula:
he ignores the issue, he pays no attention. Someday, we may read some
documents written in the language of the enemy where these gentlemen
explain how they plotted in the dark to save Posada Carriles.

What does that mean in practice? Simply to tell Cuba, to Venezuela
and the other countries in the region that the man who tortured,
murdered and ordered the slaughter of so many innocent people will
continue to enjoy the favor of the United States.

At the same time, [Bush] shows us the other side of the coin: the
situation of the five Cubans, sentenced to four life terms and 75
years' imprisonment for revealing the plans of the Posada Carriles
[the Americans] protect, who are practicing terrorism against our

Last week, The New York Times published the statements of the U.S.
Department of Justice about Leandro Aragocillo, a Philippines-born
American charged with espionage. In his possession they found no less
than 733 secret documents from the White House, the Pentagon, the
Defense Department and other places. They sentenced him to 10 years'

Some of my compatriots have been sentenced to four life terms even
though not a single compromising piece of paper was found on them.
They were sentenced without proof; worse yet, after the court heard
testimony from witnesses who said the case did not involve espionage.

The moral of the story: if you keep an eye on Posada Carriles, you
get life in prison. If you really practice espionage, even in the
White House, you get 10 years in prison.

The Justice Department added a statement that shocked me, honestly:
10 years is the maximum sentence. If the Filipino shows good behavior
while in prison he can be released much earlier.

Our five comrades are teachers in their prisons: they teach English,
mathematics, Spanish. They work in the prison offices with exemplary
discipline. They have never been criticized for bad behavior. But
they will be behind bars for four life terms and 75 years only
because they fought terrorism.

What is the message for our people? A regime has been imposed in the
United States that is capable of resorting to anything. They are not
all-powerful but are strong enough to destroy the earth and all of us
on it.

That is why, as revolutionary aspirations blossom in Latin America,
at a moment of great possibilities and enormous challenges, we need
to engage in much thinking, much reflection and -- above all -- much

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