Forty Percent of Farm Land in Cuba Still Idle

HAVANA TIMES, Jan. 25 – Forty per cent of the available land for agricultural purposes in Cuba is still idle, despite the handing over of plots more than two years ago through Decree-Law 259, stated the Ministry of Agriculture’s National Center for Land Control, reported IPS.

3 thoughts on “Forty Percent of Farm Land in Cuba Still Idle

  • grok: It’s time for you to put on your thinking cap and look closely at what you’ve just said.

    On the one hand you speak disdainfully of what you call a “stalinist ‘command economy.'” Then you appeal to the bureaucracy that this command economy calls into existence to engage in “devolving power to the masses to let THEM make these sorts of decisions at the point of production in question.”

    This is like excoriating the bed-bugs that infest a mattress without understanding that the mattress is ruined and must be discarded. Criticism of the vermin is not what is needed. What is needed is a new type of mattress that naturally disallows bed-bugs.

    Surely, as some point, you will look at this and understand that the problem is not to excoriate this bureaucracy and lecture in democratic handing over power to the workers. It is to excoriate the mode of production that state ownership of all the instruments of production beings into being, and try to re-conceptualize what a truly socialist mode of production might be.

    A workable socialist mode of production would be based on worker-owned cooperatives on the Mondragon model. Nothing else will do.

    You will never convince the Cuban bureaucracy, or any statist bureaucracy to hand democratic control to the workers. It’s not in their interests to do so.

    What you need to do is embrace the idea that a new socialist mode of production needs to be conceptualized and put in place that does not bring such a bureaucracy into being and into absolute power. The workers do not need favors from above; they need direct ownership of the workplace.

    The socialist state does not need to own all the instruments of production in order to engage in socialist construction. The socialist state can take partial ownership of worker-owned cooperative corporations and get plenty of revenues from such a democratic, dynamic mode of production.

    If you wish to continue to waste your time and talents lambasting the Cuban bureaucracy for being a bureaucracy, then go ahead. It’s your time and talent to waste as you wish. But a better use would be to think hard about the concentration of all the instruments of production in the hands of the state that Engels and Marx put on the movement, and understand that this mode of production is unworkable in the long run and is therefore a grave theoretical error.

  • Campesinos can’t be as productive under the misguided lease policy of usifruct as with a private ownership deed policy. Usifruct is a non-socialist form of property. It means that the state still owns the land in question, but hopes that the campesino will improve it and make it productive.

    This is the difference between the Marxian state monopoly principle of socialism and the non-Marxian cooperative, state co-ownership principle. Privately owned plots under socialist state power, in our view, is an authentic, functional form of socialist property.

  • Proving definitively that it’s not so much THAT you do it but HOW you do it — and the cuban government is clearly doing far too much way too wrong. Because too many inside the government think in terms of stalinist “command economy” — rather than instead devolving power to the masses to let THEM make these sorts of decisions at the point of production in question. The land should in fact be controlled by the rural councils in the areas in which it is to be found. Let the councils ultimately decide who is worthy of tilling this land — according to over-arching socialist planning principles (according to region, markets, etc., of course).

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