Intellectuals Seek To Open a Path

By Esteban Diaz

Temas magazines sponsors a monthly workshop on different social and political issues.
Temas magazine sponsors a monthly workshop on different social and political issues.

A few weeks ago, I participated in a monthly workshop sponsored the last Thursday of each month by Temas (a magazine that addresses the social and political problems of Cuba and Latin America). That past session was on bureaucracy in Cuba.

The organizers of the workshop sat in front, charging themselves with leading the discussion, while the hopeful and patient public listened as four intellectuals delighted in defining bureaucracy and the consequences it has had for the island.

After an hour and a half of listening came the opportunity for opinions from the audience. Each person had about three minutes to express themselves.

Most of the participants would characterize themselves as intellectuals, but contrary to the first group, they offered more accurate definitions of bureaucracy and openly criticized social contradictions. While each person respected the time they were given for their opinion, they complained that the discussion period was too short to allow all those who wanted to speak.

Likewise, there were those who characterized the organizers as themselves being bureaucratic, given the way in which they carried out the activity.

That is precisely what I think Cuba needs, a revolutionary culture of intellectuality – one that involves the participation of people, respects ideas from all over the world and is willing take discussions about problems to all the country’s workers.

These seemingly revolutionary intellectuals that convened the discussion, which was cut short, have been molded within a bureaucratic culture. This is what caused them to commit errors, such as not allowing open debate with the public, not giving people equal time and sitting in front of the participants as if the panelists were the know-it-alls. They closed the workshop with few words and announced the end.

These types of activities are frequently organized, though the majority of the participants are intellectuals, and the events do not involve the most burdened masses. As is common of this rather elite social group, they characteristically begin by defending words, proceed to speculate about the problem, and leave concrete practice to the end.

If workers were consulted, they would probably not present so many theoretical approaches when providing solutions; and although they might end up being less accurate, I believe this would be more democratic.

esteban

Esteban Diaz: I am 26-years-old and from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I’m currently in my sixth year of studies at the Latin American Medical School in Havana. I like to travel, which has enabled me to get to know other cultures and see what life is like in other places. In my free time I play guitar and sometimes read books about politics.



8 thoughts on “Intellectuals Seek To Open a Path

  • great post…keep up the struggle for true socialist democracy!

    Reply
  • Camarada, la “culpa” sobre esas actitudes personales y las reglas de juego de los espacios que mencionas rebasan la responsabilidad estrictamente individual de los convocantes. Por haber participado en esos espacios (como invitado y panelista) y por haber animado foros más abiertos en formatos, temas y asistencias te comento varias de las condiciones de posibilidad que permiten esos espacios: referir temas en general sin referencias empíricas; realizarlos en horarios y lugares bajo…

    Reply
  • .CONTINUA…..control y por invitacion, no conectarlo con las masas, etc. Todo ello forma parte de la estatización de la esfera y opinión pública y de la promoción de una particpación teritorialmente fragmentada, temáticamente parroquial y consultiva que debilita al sujeto popular. Pese a ello intentos cómo Último Jueves de Temas o Criterios son valiosos y deben ser acompañados.
    un saludo
    Chaguaceda

    Reply
  • Senor Diaz;

    With respect this is a good piece so i would like to take a moment to leave a quote from Castros Declarations of Resistance and others as a lead to my comments >

    Castros Speech ie.. 50th anniverary “The National General Assembly of the People of Cuba proclaims before America the right of peasants to the land; the right of the workers to the fruits of their labour; the right of children to receive education; the right of the sick to receive medical and hospital…

    Reply
  • .CONTINUA…..control y por invitacion, no conectarlo con las masas, etc. Todo ello forma parte de la estatización de la esfera y opinión pública y de la promoción de una particpación teritorialmente fragmentada, temáticamente parroquial y consultiva que debilita al sujeto popular.

    i like tis post however, my question to you Sr Diaz is why did u not post my answer in its entirety? Is fear of a different perspective or fear that i am heard here what troubles you and your editors?
    I am…

    Reply
  • One more thing is it fear that i am An Afro Cuban a problem 4 HT or is it that you may have a problem with a Black Cuban speaking out? This is racism

    Reply
  • iv will not shut up, i will not allow my words to be controlled and if i am not heard not here somewhere else! be assured son that i will not bad mouth HT

    Reply

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