Camilo Wants Me to Work

Erasmo Calzadilla

Puddle photo by Caridad

I’m thankful to those who comment on my writings in Havana Times; I’m eager to read all their remarks sooner or later.  It’s very important to me to know what they’re thinking and saying.  Plus, they give me company and help me feel I’m not talking to myself, like some lunatic.

When Landis, Grady, Mark, Luis Miguel, Cristinita, Bob and the other usual individuals don’t write, I worry a little and miss them a lot.

But today’s entry is directed instead to certain aggressive commentators, such as Camilo and Hermenegildo, who from time to time log onto Havana Times to let off some of their bad feelings.

To Camilo, Hermenegildo and others, who’ve shown nothing but disdain for me…who’ve advised me on several occasions to “quit whining and get a job”: I want to set you all straight.

Since I graduated in 1999, I’ve always worked regularly “for the state,” as people here say.  It was only during this past year that I didn’t work for a period, after I was expelled from the institution where I was philosophy professor.  The apparent cause: my classes did not comply with the program dictated by the Central Committee of the Party.

I swear I tried to make them conform, but over time my classes were beginning to resemble more what I consider philosophy (knowledge that comes from active co-participation of the students) and not what is imposed by the program.

Yet I was confident.  My evaluations were good and it seemed that everything was going fine. However, one day it occurred to me to form a study circle with students to discuss and think about political questions.  Suddenly everything erupted.

We were at the end of the course and my students had already been evaluated with grades of between A and C by a committee of teachers specializing in the subject matter.  Nonetheless, those who were interested in removing me from my school (INSTEC) ignored this and determined through special surveys that my students knew nothing about philosophy.  It was therefore my fault that the students didn’t know that “the social being determines consciousness,” etc., etc.

Since then I have worked in another institution of higher education as a professor.  This time though it was on a contract basis because my work file indicated qualities that scare people in personnel departments.  They wouldn’t want me there tenured.

So, Hermenegildo and Camilo, if at some time I’ve been “without a job”… I don’t believe you should place the blame on me.

Ah, and a little piece of advice, if you’ll permit?  If you want to defend the regime, try not to look like you want to bite the head off of anyone who doesn’t think the same as you.  And instead of taking cheap shots, if you were to partake in just a little reflection, I believe that would be a big favor to the cause.

9 thoughts on “Camilo Wants Me to Work

  • May 10, 2010 at 3:42 am

    Scientific socialism isn’t a crock, it’s just – as the name implies – not a philosophy, but science. Social science. The works of Marx and Engels are best associated with economy and sociology, not philosophy. Sure, scientific socialism influenced many philosophers – the whole Frankfurt School comes to mind – but it isn’t itself ‘hardcore’ philosophy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *