Cuba: Counter-revolution vs. Socialist Utopia

Pedro Campos

HAVANA TIMES, Jan 1 — The genuine counter-revolution doesn’t conceal itself, it protests openly against socialist utopia with arguments like this:

“No. It’s not possible. It can’t be done under the current conditions. We cannot develop large-scale cooperativism, self-management and the consequent democratization of society. The objective and subjective conditions don’t exist.

“We have to first develop capitalism, letting domestic and foreign capital develop the country. They will return to modernize the sugar industry and all other industries, ports and communications for us, though we need a strong and organized working class. Furthermore, imperialism is right here; it could easily appropriate self-managed cooperatives and enterprises and take advantage of democratization to get rid of the historic leaders and put the old oligarchy back in power.”

Those who express such notions — and reveal their leanings toward the new Chinese imperialism — cannot even fool elementary school children. In any case, imperialism, which is one sole entity, can paint itself blue, yellow or red and it would be very easy to appropriate the assets of the government.

These assets belong to “all” in words, but which in truth, the only ones who feel like they are owners are the members of the bureaucratic class, who are increasingly isolated from the people.

If properties belong to the people — to individuals or collectives, to work groups or community groups, to freely associated workers or the self-employed — then all of this would indeed be very difficult for imperialism.

It would not be the same to confront and expropriate a bureaucratic state, ready and willing to share economic power with foreign capital, as it would be to take on people who own the means of production and control their destiny.

The supporters of statism spout a line that sounds orthodoxly Marxist (“the great development of the productive forces of capitalism and the wealth it generates is what will bring on socialism”).

Yet they have destroyed the country’s economy, squandered its resources and compelled its youth, professionals and technicians trained by the Cultural Revolution to choose between leaving the country or selling churros [strips of fried dough] and ice cream cones.

They have in fact become the main brake on the development of new forms of socialist production.

The enemies of de-statization are opposed to the turning over the management and control of the profits of state-run enterprises to workers’ councils. The statists are the ones who are blocking the establishment of an extensive cooperative law for industry and services, while at the same time they prioritize wage exploitation by private wealth.

They are preventing the elimination of the multitude of absurd state monopoly regulations on the market, rejecting the urgently needed unification of the currency and impeding other changes.

In short, they are the ones who are retarding the development and strengthening of the Cuban revolutionary process. They are obstructing the socialization and democratization of economic and political power.

Whether they achieve their objectives or not, only time will tell. What is clear is that many young people, workers, professionals, technicians, homemakers and retirees who have spent their lives for this lamentable system of “state socialism” are unwilling to continue putting up with the deceit.

They’re demanding radical changes to the state-centric economic and social policies of the party/government.

These same people from below — on their own and without waiting for the readiness or approval of the established bureau-bourgeoisie — are carrying out various life-important economic, social, cultural and political initiatives outside of state institutions.

It is within those institutions where many are grabbing on, attempting to control everything possible in society while accusing their opponents complicity with the imperialist enemy.

Any initiatives from outside bureaucratic control are met with the slogan, “Either you are with us, or you are with the imperialist enemy.” For them, then, there are no more options.

One has to ask themself: Who have been the true accomplices of the imperialist enemy?

Have they been those who have shown through their policies that “socialism” — which has never existed — has been a social, economic and political disaster. Are they those who have succeeded in making most people not even want to hear the word “socialism”? Those who have made Latin Americans reject socialism as an approach to people bettering their lives and living more freely?

Are the true accomplices of the imperialist enemy those of us who want socializing and democratizing changes now, with less state and bureaucratic control over the economy and politics?

Alternatively, are they the supporters of counter-revolutionary immobilism, who are counting on foreign investment and private capitalism to save their state-centered bureaucratic wage-labor model of the neo-Stalinist cut, to later “try” to reintroduce the cycle of bourgeoisie expropriation by the “working class”?

Are the accomplices of the enemy the ones who have never set out to change production relations of capitalism?

Are they the ones who wish to deepen the revolution and change everything that resists it or are they those who in the name of change don’t want to change anything, so that everything remains the same, especially the same bureaucracy that has held political power for a half a century and has led the country to the current disaster?

Are they the ones who turn to various forms of violence and repression to combat those who peacefully advocate different ideas?

Likewise, the following will also have to be answered: Can the majority of those old, reactionary, conservative, stiff and accustomed brains, with their old, authoritarian, bureaucratic-centralism-educated ways of command and control change their mindsets, as is demanded by those at the heights of power when self-recognizing the incapacity of the centralized system?

Wouldn’t it be better to set aside those stuck in neo-Stalinism thought and instead empower the people, the younger generations, to democratically develop new forms of social, economic and political organization and new leaders demanded by the changing situation, instead of seeking a “cadre policy” aimed at ensuring the perpetuation of “everything that must be changed”?

I hope the party conference this January will help in finding answers to these questions, whether by action or omission.

20 thoughts on “Cuba: Counter-revolution vs. Socialist Utopia

  • February 7, 2012 at 12:40 am

    Thank you Cimarron for cutting thru the reams of BS. Yes, attacking or defending Cuba, while ignoring the Blockade is pointless. Dressing it up in psuedo-intellectual discussions of all the mistakes made by Socialists in the past 150 years, doesn’t make the critiques true, it only makes them pointless.

    I wonder why Hugo Chavez and Venezuela are ignored. Certainly Venezuela is attempting to build on Cuba’s successes and avoid some of its mistakes. Developing Community based Democracy, while holding the Capitalists at bay, may prove effective in the long run.

    Since their Revolution was won at the polls, it has much less control over the entrenched Plutocracy. Reforms have to carefully explained and sold to the electorate in a step-by-step fashion. Much of its success rests on the willingness of Chavez to use the power of the Government to steamroll over his opponents when necessary. Compromise and talk would weaken both the Government and ’21st Century Socialism’.

    IMO, America del Sur may be the salvation of Socialism. It certainly isn’t getting anywhere in North America, Europe, Asia, or Africa. Of course humanity is in real danger of losing the race against Capitalism, Militarism, Fascism, and Global Warming. Pity the generations yet unborn who may be zapped while still nothing but a twinkle in their father and mother’s eyes.

  • January 25, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    A belated correction: The Weitling/Hess letter referred to was actually in a previous letter. It may be found on-line at the Marx/Engels Archive. It is the 1846 letter from Weitling to Moses Hess in which it is abundantly clear that 1) the money supporting the Communist League and all its “elaborate editions” came from the bourgeoisie, and 2) that Marx was the conduit through whom this money was acquired.

  • January 15, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    It really comes again as no surprise that Pedro Campos launches into another tirade couched in seemingly-sophisticated left rhetoric that fits, as usual, in his trademark blockade-denial, blame-it-all-on-the-historic leadership narrative. It is no surprise that his views coincide perfectly with that of worn-out Western imperialist propaganda and counter-revolutionary lies from Miami. Vigilant progressives who have not forgotten recent history will experience no shock whatsoever.

    It wasn’t so long ago that the engineers of “It’s-fabulous-to-be-rich” capitalist restoration in China, while touting the fraudulent “Theory Of The Three Worlds”, went so far as to support – together with the CIA, the racist-fascists of Apartheid South Africa and those of the Cuban exilio – the ultra-reactionary mercenaries of UNITA led by CIA operative, Jonas Savimbi, in Angola. Yes, this at a time when Cuba (indeed, the Cuba portrayed by Pedro Campos as a faux-socialist state!) was nobly shedding the blood of its sons and daughters in defense of African liberation and independence in Angola!

    The first duty of genuine defenders of the Cuban revolutionary process, who seek to correct its errors and resist restoration of the old order, is to be on guard 24×7 against any ideological beach-heads for imperialism, whether intentional or not, and no matter what garb it comes dressed in, even spotless ultra-left rhetoric!

  • January 11, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    @ George Ramirez: The Weitling/Hess letter referenced above is documentary proof that Marx and the Communist League were supported financially by the bourgeoisie. Go to the mirror and laugh at yourself.

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