[Marxism] Empty Cuba blather

Ralph Johansen mdriscollrj at charter.net
Fri Feb 8 11:29:07 MST 2013

Louis Proyect wrote

On 2/8/13 12:08 PM, Daniel Rocha wrote:

    What is Cuba's party position on Syria's ongoing conflict?

Cuba supports al-Assad, as it supported Qaddafi.


All through the past two years of backing and forthing on the middle 
east on the left, I have been trying to express something that Paula 
Cerni raised on Lou Levi's Ope-L list awhile back, about the 
contradictions of the notion of imperialism/subimperialisms, about the 
tribulations of the attempt at a socialist project within an isolated 
nation-state, how in the struggle to survive they must seek out allies 
wherever they find them, especially among other states which are trying 
to put in place nationalist projects, internal development independent 
of the dominant states, and being run off the planet for it; states such 
as Libya, Syria, Nasser's Egypt, the short-lived and often spurious 
populist efforts, People's Democratic Republic of Yemen, People's 
Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Julius Nyerere's ujamaa project for an 
"African socialist" Tanzania, The People's Republic of Mozambique, 
Angola, the Congo; states which otherwise are at best 
nationalist/populist and often in the interests of national capital, but 
at least for the limited purposes of national self-determination, 
networks, trade preferences and access to resources probably, are 
allies; the USSR, China, Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela, every state 
professing to be moving in a a socialist direction seems to have faced 
this dilemma; how that distorts their socialist credentials, as they are 
forced to oppose, publicly, the genuine people's revolts within those 
states in attempting to shore up that precarious base of small-state 

The dominant states are of course able to profit from the 
inconsistencies and contradictions that this produces as they appear. 
They can intervene in the name of "democracy" or "stability" or 
"anti-terrorism", pick compliant factions within such movements, and 
flummox and obscure the whole effort. The possibilities of an expression 
of genuine revolution by the base, of a real democratic overturning, are 
scotched and bottled up. To try to sort through the welter of 
conflicting, fragmented  reports as these events unfold is so difficult 
and depends so much on indigenous forces having articulate 
spokespersons, a viable program and access to broad outlets for 
publicizing their cause, and lacking this their allies elsewhere are 
just milling around to no good effect - as Lou says, like dogs racing 
around in the firehouse when they hear a siren.

Networks and organization, of course, but more than that a theoretical 

Maybe I haven't looked in the right places, but I haven't seen any 
substantive theoretical or practical treatment of this problem, which 
really should lend itself to a dialectical analysis in a more general 
way that helps steer through these shoals and helps to overcome this 
very real, very current problem; a study of this acute dilemma is sorely 

More information about the Marxism mailing list