By Vicente Morin Aguado
HAVANA TIMES — Fidel Castro laid the institutional foundations of Cuban socialism when he announced a constitutional reform during the first congress of the Cuban Communist Party in 1975. The chief decision behind this declared the Party the sole “higher and guiding force of society and the State,” and it was founded on the alleged “infallibility of Marxist-Leninist doctrine, the basis of scientific communism.”
It is not my intention to minimize the contributions made by Marxism to universal thought (as anyone may do in a society where the kind of freedom that is constitutionally outlawed in our country exists). I aim at something different.
Can the scientific nature of a political doctrine actually be proven? The evident contradiction here takes us back to the classics, as both Marx (in his Thesis on Feuerbach) and Lenin (in Materialism and Empirocriticism) regarded practice as the highest criterion for truth.
If we could be certain a philosophical system could lead humanity to an earthly paradise, it would be sensible to accept such a conception of the world and the deceitful and demagogic proposal advanced by the communist leadership regarding the need to have a single Party (the Marxist-Leninist) guide society. However, as Lenin himself wrote in Statistics and Sociology, “facts are stubborn things.”
It’s important to recall the context Cuban communists lived in, 61 years after Lenin published those words:
“The constant growth of the power and influence of the world socialist system, the progress made by the communist and international workers’ movement in other parts of the world, the successes of national liberation movements, the changes favorable to international entente and the general weakening of imperialism around the globe, this makes the fundamental contradiction of our time, that between socialism and capitalism, develop in favor of revolutionary forces.” (First Congress of the Cuban Communisty Party, Thesis and Resolutions).
The world today looks nothing like those predictions. I do not judge the authors of that paragraph for having believed what they wrote, I condemn them for having imposed on us the stupidity of considering one system of thought infallible (and mandatory).
Since then, we have been living under a peculiar form of secular theocracy, engendered by leaders who publicly declare themselves atheists. It is a foul affront on the ethical bases of human experience.
The collapse of world socialism and the generalized crisis of the Cuban experiment refute the claim that the doctrine in question is “scientific.” To avoid any sectarianism, one of the ills of Marx’s successors, we could say the exact same thing of any other political or religious creed.
Even in physics, a predictive science known for its concrete experiments and mathematical deductions, the uncertainty principle, which immortalized Werner Heisenberg in 1932, as well as an eternal dispute with determinist Albert Einstein, reign supreme.
The ambiguous and laconic socialist constitution of 1976, its ominous Article 5 and its timid and hypocritical amendments paves the road to a 5th Republic (if we count the one denied Cuban independence fighters in 1868 as the first).
Not even those in power today take the constitutional phrases prepared years ago seriously. Suffice it to note what they, their children and grandchildren actually do and say, and where they are. The facts, it seems, do tend to be stubborn.
We have lost half a century, and Jose Marti Marti still comes in our aid, without the need to ask Fidel Castro, Marx or Lenin permission to do so:
“Cuba’s Revolutionary Party has no intentions of delivering Cuba to a victorious group that regards the island as its prey and its property. Rather, it seeks to prepare whatever means are necessary to secure freedom from foreign domination, a war that is to be fought for the dignity and good of all Cubans, to present the entire country with a free homeland.” (from the Cuban Revolutionary Party, Article 5, 1892).
Is the number 5 a pure coincidence? The above statement couldn’t be clearer.
Vicente Morín Aguado: email@example.com