Another November 7th

Daisy Valera

A Slice of Havana.  Photo: Caridad
A Slice of Havana. Photo: Caridad

On Saturday, November 7, daybreak came with a fine drizzle under a gray sky.

Those who might think that a morning with weather like this is a sign of melancholy or sadness would be mistaken.

Cubans generally love it when the temperature drops a few degrees and the sun hides a little; we can then go out into the street wrapped up and smiling.

I begin talking about the weather on this winter morning because it was the only thing that many of those I know noted this November 7.

I don’t blame them; the scant news coverage on TV doesn’t help too much to counteract the amnesia that we the younger generation have when it comes to the history of Marxism.

Only a few of my friends recalled that this day was the 92nd anniversary of the triumph of the socialist October Revolution.

Along with my comrades who remembered it, I got into a bus under the rain and headed out for San Jose, a municipality of Havana Province.

Waiting for us there were leaders of the Hermanos Saiz Association and those with whom we would share a round of debates on the “Legacy of October.”

The purpose of everyone attending was to prevent from falling into oblivion something that we consider -today, more than ever- indispensable for Cuban society: The history of the USSR.

In these times of world economic crisis with increasingly radical changes that especially affect the poorest on the planet: the workers.

We Cubans cannot afford the luxury of forgetting the errors of the past; otherwise we run the risk of repeating them in the future.

If the purpose of our society is to build an advanced form of socialism, we cannot stop examining a past society that shared our same aims.

Bureaucracy, dogmatism, capitalist penetration, the lack of freedom of speech, ever increasing differentiation between classes, opportunism, the disastrous policy in which some command and others obey, and false proletarian internationalism were the ruinous contributions that Stalinism made to the revolution in the USSR.

These were contributions shamelessly made in the name of Marxism, and which still today stain that name.

To prevent those things from deepening even more in our society is the challenge faced today by the revolutionary Cuban left.

The Cuba Revolution must be ongoing, and we must all be the leaders; events like those organized by the Observatorio Crítico reaffirms that this is the solution to moving forward toward a better social system on this island.

Daisy Valera

Daisy Valera:Soil scientist and blogger. I write from Mexico City, where Havana sometimes becomes so small that it disappears. However in others, the Cuban capital is a city so past and present that it steals your breath.

3 thoughts on “Another November 7th

  • Cubans should consider for their country a new hypothesis for the future experiment in socialism. We recommend that they look at the economic formula worked out by the worker-owned cooperatives of Mondragon, Spain. This formula could be fused with the state power of the Cuban revolutionary Party, and this would indicate “worker/state co-ownership of the major means of production through cooperative corporations.”

    By combining this possible new political/economic mechanism as the basis for Cuban socialism, and valuing family-owned farm and small business enterprise, Cuban could shoot to the top ranks of affluent societies.

    Or, Cuba can continue beating the dead horse of traditional, non-scientific Marxism and see what happens.

  • Marxism claims to be scientific. The heart of science is a six-step thing called the Scientific Method. Yet, Marxism has never, and does not, use this method.

    It has converted its “revolutionary theory” into dogma of the “scriptures” written down by the holy men of socialism, the capitalist Engels and the bourgeois Marx. Thus, instead of the revolutions that occurred being considered as hypotheses being tested by scientific experiments in real life, with the results open to analysis, conclusion and the formulating of new hypotheses, socialism in practice has been slavish attempting to follow the screwball recipe of the Communist Manifesto of 1848.

    No matter how bureaucratic and how unworkable this absurd state-owns-everything recipe is proven in real life, no matter how many revolutions it destroys, the Cuban bureaucracy will not come with a new cooperative socialist hypothesis for the future experiment. This is a recipe for collapse and a return to capitalism.

  • Whatever the achievements of workers in the past 2 centuries, we are in a situation today where we must advance beyond the model left to us by the practitioners of “actually-existing socialism”. Regardless. What we do have in the World today, however, is a “socialism” which bears more resemblance to social-democracy, or even christian socialism, than it does to marxism. However, only by following a *scientific* socialist praxis will we be able to free ourselves from both the fetters of capitalist imperialism and utopian idealism. And the latter serves the former, in the end.

    In Cuba, unfortunately, we appear to have a somewhat ‘cornered’ State, which contains some forces who are loathe to move in any direction. However, move they must. And is not process and motion — and development and change and dialog — the very essence of dialectical-materialism..?

    Long life to Socialism and the cuban people. And all power to the councils and communes.

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