Cuba: The Crisis of Values and Prejudices

Las tribus. Ilustración por Onel

Yenisel Rodríguez Perez

HAVANA TIMES — One cannot help but wonder, even at the risk of coming across as naive, what social behavior the Cuban government would consider appropriate – what use of culture it would consider virtuous, revolutionary and socialist.

Nothing, however, persists or flourishes: all we get is rhetoric and propaganda, a hollow ideal that remains within the limits of a primitive, authoritarian demagogy.

Ultimately, what is most destructive is not what they propose but what they repress, particularly in the instant they manage to influence us by making their sanctions fit our personal catalogue of intolerance and prejudice.

What is the content and the true aim of the reinstitution of positive values being carried out by the government, public institutions and the official media?

It is a mix of popular prejudice and myths, peppered with dogmatism and middle-class (and even erudite) elitism, not without a certain degree of (hypocritical) glorification of the worlds of the worker and farmer – a kind of sterilized cult of poverty.

What is its aim?

To secure a certain degree of governability, making us take part in the macabre dance of an everyone-for-themselves, taking social control through the most widespread prejudices in our society, particularly the hardest to spot, the ones we allow ourselves to practice, arguing that we mean no harm and have good intentions.

In the course of time, we end up rejecting that which we defend, becoming enemies of all life-worlds (be these youthful, sexual or having to do with the use of our free time, self-management or any dimension of daily life that the government has chosen to make a scapegoat of).

This way, a soft but stable form of hegemony is added to State social control mechanisms.

We do this when we offer our consent, intellectual or heartfelt, and favor the extirpation of a given component of our life-world, only because it seems to resemble that aspect of social reality we cannot tolerate.

At that instant, the sights and cannons are set on our most beautiful landscapes, remaining hidden so as to be more efficient and have more lasting effects.