[Marxism] Did the Cuban Revolution enforce socialist realism?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Dec 31 00:16:47 MST 2012

On 12/31/12 1:19 AM, Joaquín Bustelo wrote:
> I have a very important criticism to make of Louis's article. Farber's
> position should not have been questioned or refuted. He should simply
> have been rejected.

Trust me, Joaquin, I have lots of other projects that are demanding my 
time but I think it is not just the ISO and Solidarity that are drinking 
Farber's Kool Aid. It is also the British SWP that although largely 
relying on Tony Gonzalez's own brand of Cubanology does also publish 
Farber's garbage as well.

Plus, there are some important theoretical questions that deserve airing 
out. For example, what kind of "totalitarianism" is it that allows 
someone like Yoni Sanchez to defame the revolution openly?

It is typical of Farber to use words like the caterpillar does in "Alice 
in Wonderland". He twists their meaning around to accommodate his crappy 
political agenda.

In a similar vein, he has a rather lengthy attack on the credibility of 
the UN HDI statistics that place Cuba in the top third of nations 
worldwide. He says that they don't really measure the level of suffering 
in Cuba and that--implicitly--a special statistical criterion be applied 
to Cuba on a sui generis basis. His animosity toward Cuba is actually 
rather pathological when you get down to it.

Frankly I wonder how many rank and file ISO'ers or British SWP'ers 
really take the trouble to put his crap under a microscope like I do. 
Frankly, I feel like I am working for the Center of Disease Control 
sometimes. For example, in chapter one he has this business about Cuba 
giving American sociologist Oscar Lewis a hard time. After a brief 
search, I discovered that the respected left Mexico scholar John Womack 
Jr. wrote a piece on Lewis titled "An American in Cuba" back in 1977. 
Here's a telling snippet of Womack's piece that I was able to read by 
virtue of my Columbia University retiree privileges:

"As Lewis gained confidence in Project Cuba, he lost his main contact 
with Fidel—Dr. Vallejo died in August 1969. Without advice he trusted, 
Lewis pushed his luck. In October, and two or three times afterward, he 
used the Israeli diplomatic pouch for correspondence from the United 
States. And in March 1970, he began interviewing a mysterious Havana 
professional, who had been arrested during the Bay of Pigs attack and 
remained a staunch gusano since. Mr. X, as Mrs. Lewis calls him, had 
come to Lewis to tell his story, and turned out to be a relative of a 
prominent Cuban official, himself a friend of the State Security 
director. In his interviews Mr. X praised the United States, President 
Nixon, and the fight against communism in Vietnam, and complained about 
his own country. As if he thought it mattered to the project, he also 
gave Lewis some low-down on the love lives of his country’s leaders. As 
if he thought it mattered too, Lewis let him talk. "

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