Where Corruption Begins

Erasmo Calzadilla

Esteban Morales, photo: Patricia Grogg, IPS

Dr. Esteban Morales, a Cuban specialist in U.S. affairs, was recently expelled from the Communist Party of Cuba – or is about to be, word has it.

The reason for this strong-arming was an article he broke exposing the main danger posed against the Revolution as being… can you guess?  …the bureaucracy?  No.  On this occasion the blame fell on its sister: State corruption.  As Morales tells us, we should have no doubt that counter-revolutionary elements (which include corrupt officials) are:

– Taking positions at certain levels of the State and government.

– Girding themselves financially for when the Revolution falls, and others may have almost everything ready to transfer state-owned assets into private hands, as happened in the former USSR.

– Engaging in fraud, illegalities, favoritism, bureaucratic slowness, etc., as happened with the distribution of lands in usufruct…

– Presenting a threat that is a lot more dangerous than the so-called domestic dissidence, because it is isolated; still lacks an alternative program, has no real leaders, no masses.

– Doing the most harm because (they) are within the government and the state apparatus, which really manage the domestic resources.

– Serving as a form of counter-revolution that does indeed have leaders (albeit concealed), offers alternatives to the State’s, and relies on a mass of people who practice [corruption].

– Making the country vulnerable to foreign powers that, in this way, control strategic information about our country.

What everybody already knows

Up to this point he was recounting what everyone already knows, though writing from a government perspective.  For Morales, corruption is like a woodworm infiltrating the State apparatus, eating away at its purity and candor; it is like an army of termites that have nothing to do with the operation of the State itself, according to his focus.

The PhD conforms himself to describing this concern over corruption as a “fact”; but it would be a magnificent exercise of thought to try to identify its causes.

In the article there appears only a small attempt at an explanation when he refers to “an entire underground economy that the State is unable to control and that will be impossible to set straight as long as there exist large imbalances between supply and demand, which today characterize our economy.”

According to this logic, it would be necessary to wait for some distant future for the underground economy to disappear; meanwhile, Morales believes that the solution, or at least one of them, is “surprise audits.”  I would like to know how he would guarantee that State auditors would not also be corrupt.

However Morales, without perceiving it, wanders past another deeper cause of the corruption when he asserts that corrupt bureaucrats can do more harm, because they are “within the government and the state apparatus, which really manage the domestic resources.”

Didn’t it occur to the professor to wonder what an official is doing —be they honest or corrupt— managing “domestic” resources without being under the direct control of those who produce these resources?  Corruption didn’t begin the moment the manager misappropriated wealth, but a little before, when surplus value was expropriated from the workers and a law protected that act.

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.

One thought on “Where Corruption Begins

  • The state monopoly socialism of Marxism will destroy the Cuban Revolution, just as it has destroyed every revolution that has had the misfortune to employ it.

    Cuba will either advance to a modern socialist cooperative republic, or it will return to outright capitalism.

Comments are closed.