The Goodness of Communism

Erasmo Calzadilla

Alexis Jardines

Yes, I know you from there, from Cuba. I couldn’t believe your nerve when you denied that you were a Communist. You are incredibly shameless.

Make no mistake; these bullshitters are more Communist than the Castros. All of Erasmo and his gang’s unhappiness lie in the fact that the Revolution and its leaders annoy them because, according to them, they moved away from real Marxism and Communism. Erasmo was in Cuba one of most active defenders of Marxism and Communism. 

-Alexis Jardines PhD in Philosophy in a comment he placed on the article “El sueno americano de un cubano de izquierda” (The American Dream of a Cuban leftist).

HAVANA TIMES — Well, there you have it. This important Cuban philosopher lost, for a moment, the prudence and moderation that defines the members of his profession.

The man dealt a blow and now we haven’t heard anything else from him, I’m sure he went off to interpret one of Hegel’s texts and forgot about the loose end he left on the Internet. And he left me with this bad faith, which I, instead of denying it, will take advantage of.

It just so happens that I’ve been asking myself for quite some time now whether Marxism maintains anything contemporary about it, and Jardines has led me to focus on this neglected issue for a moment. So, here goes.

It seems to be some kind of historic law that wherever a movement for concentrating power arises, the extreme opposite is also born: calling for redistribution, leveling out and socialization. In political debates and analyses, the terminology which reflects this never-ending confrontation is very common:

Up – Down
Vertical – Horizontal
Elitism – Masses
Individual Spirit – Group Creation
Network Distribution – Pyramid System
Social Movement vs Political Parties
Monopoly – Free Competition
Popular Soviets – Supreme Soviets
Centralism – Federalism…

There is a kind of historic pendulum between the moment power is concentrated and that of when it is redistributed. One of them dominates for a while and then, when this model expires or reaches its peak, it gives way to the other.

Both trends evolve, change, and more interestingly, convert themselves into their opposite.

Primitive Christianity was a kind of Communism inspired by religion, but over time, this became an institution where power was concentrated and in the hands of a select few. Primitive Capitalism which gave birth to the US was a leveling economic process, and just look at what it has become.

Karl Marx

Marxism would be another variant of Communism, but with a philosophical base this time, which was born within the context of industrial capitalism: Concentrated power in the bourgeoisie needs to return to workers’ hands via a revolutionary leap which is driven by the progress of science and technology.

Real Marxism and Socialism have effectively fulfilled their intention to level society, at least for some time. After their disappearance the concentration of Capital – the most dominant form of power today – has gained great impetus, knocking down every obstacle in its path. Who can effectively take on this damaging trend today?

Stopping this tumor without dying in the attempt is one of the most important challenges that humanity faces. In order to manage this, we have to learn from all of those people who have had to come face-to-face with a similar monster throughout history: Anarchists, the first Christians, the first Capitalists, Robin Hood and even Marxists.

Marxists too?

Of course. Putting aside their authoritarian vocation and their desire to have progress as the motor behind change – because it won’t be possible anymore – and also putting a large part of their outdated theories aside, we can rescue their vocation to fight against anything that attacks human empowerment.

For those who want to learn a little more about the process of concentrating wealth, I recommend reading this article by OXFAM.

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.



3 thoughts on “The Goodness of Communism

  • Having a long term outlook on history is the strong point of Communism. Here and now we must do what is possible to make our society just and productive. The other eye should be looking to the evolution of the society we live in and fostering it and protecting it for the future. Communism wins because it is natural and good. Individualists, oppressors will always lose because it is the group not the single which creates society. if I lose, through poverty, illness, disaster, war, then my society loses too. If I cannot add and support the group, it will suffer. Fidel did great things, for which all of us, American and Cuban will be grateful, and never forget.

    Reply
    • What the Hell did Fidel do for me that I should be anything but pissed off, let alone “grateful”? I really believe Fidelistas just say stupid stuff like this just to pissed people off. But, indulge me, what good did that dictator do? Please DO NOT say free health care or free education. Many countries enjoy the same benefits without being turned into a dictatorship.

      Reply
      • I would say that Americans should be grateful to Castro for his support for the black cause and the civil rights movement. His move to the Hotel Teresa in Harlem was especially significant and as James L. Hicks wrote at the time, “Though many Harlemites are far too smart to admit it publicly, Castro’s move to the Theresa and Khrushchev’s decision to visit him gave the Negroes of Harlem one of the biggest ‘lifts’ they have had in the cold racial war with the white man.” Has that pissed you off enough?

        Reply

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