Missing the Point on Fighters & Capitalism

By Erasmo Calzadilla

Su-35 accompanied by Russian Airborne Troops, photo: Wikimedia Commons
Su-35 accompanied by Russian Airborne Troops, photo: Wikimedia Commons

HAVANA TIMES, May 4 – A few weeks ago, in the back of a weekly Cuban publication, there appeared an article about the virtues of the Russian SU fighter plane. The cost of producing each SU is $33 million (if I remember correctly) and they consume many tons of fuel with each flight. Armed with several types of rockets, radar systems, and other sinister novelties of war, the SU is a truly sophisticated and sublime killing machine.

If such a monster had been created in the US, the article would have been twice the length. The story would have launched a broadside against the craft’s role in ecological destruction, the arms race, resource depletion, and the millions of dead caused by American aggressions.

Where I want to go with all this is to question how the enemy has now turned out to be not capitalist exploitation, not transnationals that pay pittances to children in poor countries (producing brands sported even by our leaders), but US imperialism.

In absolutely no way am I defending that horror called US imperialism; nonetheless, to view all depravity as being concentrated in that country alone-in addition to being ridiculous-tends to reinforce the idea that evil is a question peculiar to those damned American warmongers, and not as being the logical consequence of the capitalist system.

So what was that article’s point? Is it now that weapons built by the Russians are not as bad as the American ones? Could it be that perhaps Russia is not also a capitalist empire?

It’s true that the Cuban government has better relations of all types with Russia, and that we Cubans benefit from them. Still, that cannot prevent us from calling things by their names, unless there is a desire to incubate the idea that to live under capitalism-or any other system in which power is concentrated in the hands of a few-is not such a bad thing after all.

Erasmo Calzadilla

Erasmo Calzadilla: I find it difficult to introduce myself in public. I've tried many times but it doesn’t flow. I’m more less how I appear in my posts, add some unpresentable qualities and stir; that should do for a first approach. If you want to dig a little deeper, ask me for an appointment and wait for a reply.



7 thoughts on “Missing the Point on Fighters & Capitalism

  • Erasmo,

    I do know the answers to your questions. I read some of the news on line, from the USA, China, Moscow, and some of the the news from Latin America. Changes for the good are happening in the USA. The party for the wealthy is not in power. I will let you guess what the party of the not wealthy are doing. They are becoming more…

    Albert Einstein once said, “The only constant is change.”

    Robert

    Reply
  • You’ve touched on a thorny issue here — because Russia is indeed not a socialist country (let’s not even talk about its past). The point, however, is that it is U.S. imperialism, leading its pack of “allies”e the planet

    Reply
  • You’ve touched on a thorny issue here: because Russia is indeed not a socialist country at all (let’s not even talk about its past, eh?). The point however, is that it is U.S. imperialism, leading its pack of rabid “allies”, which is attempting to enslave the entire planet; while russian and chinese and other now capitalist states of the former “Third World” do not intend to let that happen — even if they are not too eager to get into WWIII with the imperialists over it.

    The problem confronting Cuba here is: does an avowedly socialist country engage in strategic relations with one set of capitalist states against another — more deadly — set of capitalist states? And the answer, unfortunately, must be — yes. But only just so far as these states cannot be allowed to dictate the course of development of their socialist allies. And therein lie some problems indeed… Of course, Venezuela also faces this exact same issue — and therein lies the key to the dilemma as well here: Cuba and Venezuela and the other ALBA states truly must make every effort to stand as a united socialist bloc, as much as possible, against all external powers. Even their strategic allies, if need be. Even considering that there isn’t a heck of a lot of anything too socialist going on in the ALBA states right now, wishful thinking to the contrary. They have to try. They must try. What is the alternative, really..?

    And as for having to spend scarce resources on maintaining military might against an external enemy: whose fault is that, really? Not Cuba’s, that’s for sure. Look to U.S. Imperialism indeed, Erasmo: that is indeed the source of most of your problems. And understand that when people are faced with having to make one of two bad choices — they really do have to choose the lesser evil. Which is not to make excuses for the practice — which is often hypocritically the case as well.

    It’s a tough call. But you do have to get it right. Right?
    Welcome to the real world of Realpolitik.

    Reply
  • “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

    That’s an old and familiar saying. That doesn’t mean you have to LIKE your friends, but you have to recognize when their interests coincide with your own, and when they don’t. Living in a violent, greed and war-dominated world as we do, including one in which Cuba struggles every day to maintain its independence, it’s necessary to know which side one is on. Building war-making equipment isn’t good for anyone, but should Cuba’s media also denounce those who are willing to trade with Cuba on the same basis as those who aren’t?

    Why is this such a puzzle for some people?

    Walter Lippmann
    ====================================================
    ERASMO CALZADILLA writes:
    “Where I want to go with all this is to question how the enemy has now turned out to be not capitalist exploitation, not transnationals that pay pittances to children in poor countries (producing brands sported even by our leaders), but US imperialism.”

    Reply
  • “The party for the wealthy is not in power” in the US. Really? What rubbish. The Democratic Party is just as much a party of the wealthy as the Republicans. Always has been.

    As for Russian fighter jets, I agree with Walter and Grok. Russia may be capitalist, but it’s not the same thing as US imperialism. If it came to a military conflict between Cuba and the US, or between Venezuela and the US, then Cuba and Venezuela would have to use their Russian (or old Soviet) jets against the US ones. In this case, it would be a very good thing if the Russian jets were up to the task.

    Marce Cameron, Australia.

    Reply
  • Marce..u go girl!! The party for the wealthy is not in power” in the US. Really? What rubbish. The Democratic Party is just as much a party of the wealthy as the Republicans. Always has been. All of the so called parties are wealthy highly educated bureaucrats. one just as bad as the other..with an intellectual in the lead..!!!

    Reply
  • Also Robert,
    Change cannot happen because if it does ot will only repeat itself. The rep party as we speak is tryinG to scramble seeking change. CHANGE CHANGE CHANGE AND ALL THINGS STAY THE SAME
    Now what must happpen is Obama, once he takes his big head out of he caca will need to TRANSFORM the policies in the US. and transform the policies against the Cuban gov..

    Reply

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