Erasmo Calzadilla

Photo: Eduardo Soñora

HAVANA TIMES, Feb 8 — In my preceding post, I made reference to this absurd episode of Cuban political history in which — not at the barrel of a canon but in a state of shock — our society constitutionally endorsed its subordination to an authority standing above it: the Cuban Communist Party (PCC).

I explained how to me this appeared to be a mistake that our generation and future ones will have to correct. In the meantime it will cost us dearly, but no more dearly than following that same decision.

That was the general idea of my post, however a group of commenters (who I thank for their participation) quickly assumed that my diatribe against partyicracy* was praise for multiparty systems.

For them I wrote this response:

My call is not for multipartyism, but for self-government generated from below, and the further from below the better.

With self-government we could choose any variation except those that close off the future to different parties and different forms of government.

The concentration of power in the state, a party or capitalists would only be another way to restrict and close the future.

Among those who commented, there was no shortage of those who tried to legitimize the PCC-cracy by invoking Marti and his effort to organize a single party, the Cuban Revolutionary Party (PRC).

Those who attempt this old argument do not take into account that:

1. Marti fought to reunite all Cubans around a single party, but he didn’t advocate banning or stigmatizing other parties or punishing those who followed them.
2. The PRC did not claim itself to be a power standing above society.
3. As the party of the nation, it represented the whole society and not just one part of it.

So that’s it for now.

* Particracy (also ‘partitocracy’, ‘partocracy’, or ‘partitocrazia’) is a de facto form of government where one or more political parties dominate the political process, rather than citizens and/or individual politicians.


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 “Open Doors on Cuba’s Future

  • Erasmo, what you are advocating, i.e., “self-government generated from below,” is what our new movement in the United States is advocating, a modern socialist cooperative republic.

    In such a republic, working people would be the primary owners of the instruments of production, and would operate them according to sound business principles and the conditioned socialist trading market. There would be plenty of small businesses and most other enterprise would be owned by worker associates on the Mondragon model.

    The government would take part ownership of enterprise, but this would be silent, non-controlling equity participation in lieu of taxes and tax bureaucracies. Social and political democracy would flow from this democratic, bottom-up economic power.

    If this is true, then you are perhaps the first modern cooperative, state co-ownership socialist in Cuba.

  • Mark, I live in California and can address a few words to your comments. Yes, we are able to use the referendum mechanism, and this potentially is very, very good. But what happens in practice is that the real economic power in society is able to get poisoned-pen referendums on the ballot that can be bad for the people. With great monetary resources, the capitalists are able to manipulate the mass media and subvert the public good via rigged ballot initiatives.

    What is needed is direct ownership of the instruments of production and distribution by the working people. From this economic power would come social and political power.

    This is a point that Erasmo seems to be missing in his several articles. He focuses on political mechanisms, whereas he should be focusing on legal, direct ownership of enterprise by those who work and those who consume. Without direct economic ownership, social and political democracy will always be impossible. I believe that Erasmo would do better in advocating such ownership, whether cooperative-worker or small business, than in advocating an abstract political or social mechanism.

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