[Marxism] Cubans see hope for change in Obama - SentUsingGoogleToolbar

David Picón Álvarez david at miradoiro.com
Mon Jun 16 11:34:09 MDT 2008


From: "yossi schwartz" <ssschwartz8 at gmail.com>
> Yet when the Stalinist regime collapsed in the early 1990s and East Europe
> earlier  it came as a shock for all of the same people who argued that the
> USSR was a socialist or at least a degenerated workers state. The same
> bureaucracy simply replaced the form of ownership.

I believe this is not the case. To say the bureaucracy simply replaced the 
form of ownership, as I understand it, implies that the substance of 
ownership remained the same. So to speak, that the bureaucracy was a 
previously existing capitalist class hidden under the forms of Soviet 
collective ownership of the means of production. If that were really the 
case, why do we see such deep, and tragic, changes in the economies of the 
socialist block after the fall of the so-called Stalinist regimes? If the 
bourgeois law of value was in application beforehand, how can one explain 
the substantial decrease in all metrics of quality of life for the people 
involved, and so on?

> Since the 1917 revolution was a workers revolution when did the counter
> revolution happened? In 1991? This is a reformist theory since the state 
> was
> not  over thrown by a counter revolution  at  that time. So was it a 
> gradual
> process? This runs against any elementary Marxism( see Lenin: state and
> revolution)

On what grounds can one say the 1991 events were not of a 
counter-revolutionary character? This puzzles me.

> The same argument was raise for years  by  many regarding China  and today
> you have to live somewhere else, outside this earth to believe it.

I'm not going to enter the China debate. I know too little about it and my 
mind is not made on it.

> Not a revolutionary working class party  organizing the most  politically
> advanced workers must lead the working class and this party can   be
> substituted by Stalinists or left wing  third world nationalists.

I don't believe there are vanguards with proprietary rights to 
"revolutionary working class party", nor that the most advanced elements 
within the working class can be easily told a priori from party affiliation. 
So, and you may accuse me of falling into post hoc thinking as you want, I 
believe the results speak for themselves in the Cuban case (res ipsa 
loquitur) insofar as who the most advanced elements were, and that they 
didn't have the word communist in the name of their organization is, in my 
view, an accidental factor that doesn't at all preclude the reality that 
they were communists, or at least, if you're not willing to believe that, 
they were willing to embrace communism once it was shown the most viable way 
forward.

> In Cuba during the guerrilla struggle in the mountains the Cuban Communist
> party controlling the working class supported Batista and opposed Castro.
> This was not a working class revolution.

Sorry, but if tomorrow the neoconservative establishment in the US formed a 
party and called it communist, would you consider it, on the basis of its 
name alone, to have power of monopoly over what is and isn't in the 
interests, and more concretely under the effective control, of the working 
class? There are quite a few examples of parties calling themselves 
communists effectively opposing the "most politically advanced workers". In 
fact, how you can follow this line of thinking that the name is the thing 
and yet refuse the leadership of the CPSU is beyond me.

> You further must assume that capitalism at this epoch is still in the form
> of "free" market and that that bureaucratic capitalists is not  ruling 
> class
> and that it  can substitute working class power.

Not particularly, but I do assume that capitalists are not going to plan the 
economy as a whole for the benefit of all and at least partly supplanting 
the law of value. If you can show me how the so-called bureaucratic 
capitalist class in Cuba can extract surplus--profits--from the people's 
work, and reinvest that surplus in further industrialization as also in 
their own consumption, and the rest of the activities that capitalists and 
their firms customarily engage in, I'd be a lot more receptive to this 
hypothesis of yours that the bureaucracy has constituted itself as a 
capitalist class hidden under socialist forms of ownership.

> Where are the Soviets in Cuba?

Where are the Soviets in Marx's writings?

> What  kind of   a  socialist state is Cuba?  when  the rate of 
> exploitation
> of the workers of Cuba that including social benefit  is higher than in
> Argentina. Workers in Cuba  earn  much less than the working class in
> Argentina.

Workers in the fSU 1918 earned much less than workers in, say, lots of 
places (probably Argentina too, for instance). I didn't know you lost 
Marxist cred for not being able to have the highest income per capita in the 
world. I guess Sweden is a better model of a socialist state than Cuba, in 
that case.

--David.





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