The incapacity of “state socialism” to renew itself and the tasks of the left

By Pedro Campos and Armando Chaguaceda

Photo: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES – Stalin killed Trotsky, Bukharin, Zinoviev, Kamenev and Tomsky, prominent members of the Politburo of the Leninist era, for disagreeing with his ultra-centralist and anti-democratic line.

Gorbachev’s Perestroika was buried by a coup of hard line neo-Stalinists, leading to the restoration of capitalism in Russia.

Years before, the Communist Party in China started with the rehabilitation of the old regime of exploitation.

In Cuba, state capitalism, established in the name of socialism, is trying to reinforce itself with the support of national and foreign capital. The modest, positive changes made by Raul Castro’s government are insufficient to power a socialist renewal.

The proposals of the democratic socialist left have been taken into account to a limited degree only and the most important glossed over in the “guidelines” adopted by the Sixth Congress of the PCC.

Because of our positions, reprisals have been taken against many of us in different forms and attempts made to link our analysis and suggestions to those of the imperialist enemy to try to discredit us.

The conclusions are obvious: In Cuba, the old, failed model of state socialism is not showing any signs either of a willingness to renew itself and, just like in China, its traditional supporters aspire to “develop the country’s economy on the basis of a capitalist restoration controlled by the Communist Party.”

The intolerance to change, the official sectarianism and the total control by the party-government of all the economic, political, social and media levers make it virtually impossible for any real discussion to be undertaken in our country on socialist renewal.

This resistance to change, is what happened in the USSR and other socialist countries, making the political pendulum swing to the opposite extreme.

Those who are hindering the proposals of the democratic, socialist left, are the ones, and the only ones, responsible for the capitalist restoration in Cuba and its real or virtual annexation to the USA.

Since “state socialism” in Cuba is also demonstrating its incapacity for auto-renewal, the Cuban democratic, socialist left has no other alternative at its disposal but to prioritize the struggle for the democratization of the political system, in order to freely defend its ideals in the same way as the Casa Cuba Laboratory has done.

Read the entire essay (in Spanish):

6 thoughts on “The incapacity of “state socialism” to renew itself and the tasks of the left

  • George, the question raised by the article is the origin of “state socialism.”

    Pedro Campos pretends that the last two pages of the second chapter of the Manifesto do not exist; and that Stalin originated “state socialism.”

    I have merely pointed out that “state socialism” was set forth in black and white in 1848, and asked sincere, honest socialists to check the text.

    But the adherents of Pedro’s political tendency all over the world ignore the truth and try to make it something else. They cannot face the truth, for if they would, their personality cult/quasi-religion would collapse.

    The truth is that Marx and Engels set forth the core principle of “state socialism,” and that’s that. Look it up.

    And, yes, Proudhon’s contended that “Property is theft” in an early book. Later on however, he clarified this to mean “property owned by capitalists by which to exploit,” not the mutual and cooperative property owned by working associates.”

    Proudhon was a worker, and he understood real, working class socialism, whereas the capitalist Engels and bourgeois Marx dished up an anti-working class deviation that has all but destroyed socialism from within.

  • Grady, I wish you’d drop this Marx baiting. My brother recently explained to me the difference between the terms “Marxists” and “Marxian”. A Marxist treats Marx as gospel whereas a Marxian merely recognizes that Marx made some important contributions to theory. Wasn’t it Proudhon who said “Property is theft”?

  • Moses, your failure to grasp the realities of capitalists-imperialism is your downfall. It comes from you having done quite well for yourself in the U.S. for which I applaud you. But you have not had to fight against capitalist-imperialism in order to do so well. Dominion does not have to be legal, it can be merely economic.

  • In this article, Pedro continues his refusal to consider that “state socialism” is the core principle set forth by Engels and Marx on the next-to-last-page of the second chapter of the Communist Manifesto. He continues to attribute this dysfunctional, anti-socialist, pro-capitalist principle to the monster Stalin.

    He continues to ignore the absurd, moronic, ten-point program for a new socialist government set forth on the last page of that same second chapter. For him, neither of these two pages seem even to exist.

    Because he will not look at the textural roots of state socialism, he comes forth repeatedly with a bizarre and incorrect analysis as to what is, and what needs to be done in his country–or in China, or anywhere.

  • ouff! reading this article I just saw stars in front of my eyes ( not red ones, but white ones). Whats all this: state socialism, no state socialism, state capitalism. Maybe you should sort out your terminology or at least explain ewhat concretely you want.

  • The discussion regarding US/Cuban relations is handicapped by the outdated belief that the US still harbors a desire to “annex” the Cuban state. This is simply no longer the case. In fact, public sentiment has reversed itself to the point where issues like Puerto Rico statehood, while approved by Puerto Ricans is highly unlikely to be approved by three-quarters of the state legislatures as required by law. Given the anti-Latino, and especially anti-Cuban prejudices that exists in the US, the possibility of approving a Cuban state is remote. The underlying racism within the Immigration Reform debate is proof of this. As Cuba moves toward capitalism, the last thing Cubans should concern themselves with is becoming the 51st state.

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