A year ago some posters here and on other sites attempted to justify Cuban reforms in recent years as a minor thing to improve their situation, however the most recent report on free-market reforms is proving Cuba has given up on the revolution. I find the Cuba people pathetic in that they fail to recognize their inadvertently reversing everything Che fought for by demanding private shops and real estate markets. And the worst part is the insane Western Propaganda kicking Communists while their down as a result of all this. It appears the Cubans never wanted a classless society and are more interested in individual pursuits. Looks to me like Cuban education has failed at teaching Marxism.
http://news.yahoo.com/free-market-refor ... 36563.html
Hopefully you don't mind me taking this opportunity to ask a question. I've been taught that socialist states have issues to money. That in the end the numbers don't add up, not forever anyways. And when serious economic issues arise, they either have to take a step towards capitalism (as in Cuba's case) or they start to die. It adds to the notion that communism/socialism only works on paper. And I know that capitalism can run aground too, but with a mixed economy we can usually pull ourselves out. So I am wondering what your response to this is. I've heard it a lot of times too.
The truth has no need to fear investigation.
Censorship reflects a society's lack of confidence in itself.
Please define "pull ourselves out".
If you think about the crisis in capitalist and mixed economies in the 1970s, I would dare to say, we never pulled ourselves out of it; we simply relied on excessive individual borrowing, the creation of an underclass of citizens without jobs and dependent on credit or welfare for survival, the reinvestment of capital into unproductive enterprise, etc. The crisis we face today is largely the result of the lack of resolution of the previous running aground of capitalism.
And even when capitalism is "working" (i.e. during the boom of the business cycle"), there is still chronic poverty, homelessness, insufficient income, large income disparity, insolvency, unemployment, slavery, etc. Capitalists and socialists have different priorities, simply put; socialism obligates itself to take care of everybody, capitalism only takes care of those who express demand and throws everyone else to the wolves. Consequently, socialist construction is a harder task than allowing large players operate a rigged market (today's captalism)
Also, a word of note regarding socialist states and money.
1. Name me any socialist state that has not been under constant military threat by the dominant capitalist powers.
2. The USSR, on average, ran a balanced budget, with fluctuations between minor deficits and surpluses, and with the exception of the WWII and perestroika eras, always grew.
3. Communism/socialism are not rigid ideologies with respect to fiscal and monetary policy; proper institutions allow for flexibilitiy and even strategic retreats to fix certain problems without challenging the ideology. The
4. Cuba's situation would not be so dire if not for a supernational embargo enforced by the United States. This is a clear case of an externally created problem for which the long-term restriction of foreign trade and capital flow has stifled liquidity. If a country like the UK endured the same type of embargo that Cuba has faced for the past 20 years, I doubt the UK would fare well unless those in charge planned and coordinated in the same way Cuba has done.
Ultimately, I do not see the current crisis as a repudiation of socialism/communism, but the conditions, post-1991, are highly against Cuba's favor. Hopefully, Cuba and its system can survive this without reverting to the poverty-stricken casino/playground it once was.
"History is a set of lies agreed upon."
Thanks for the reply and sorry for a delayed response. I have been thinking about what you wrote. Capitalism is far from perfect, you won't have to convience me of this. You cleared up a lot of my questions but I still wonder why Cuban leaders felt a step towards capitalism would relieve economic issues. I can easily see a socialist state being worth some struggle but I want to know if you believe a socialist economy is not only more moral than a capitalistic one but naturally healthier too. Or if you believe that a socialist economy is harder to maintain but worth it as it is more just and moral.
The truth has no need to fear investigation.
Censorship reflects a society's lack of confidence in itself.
A stagnant economy is hardly a "minor thing." Cuba is still part of the global economy if you look at mid-2000s growth rates in Cuba you will see that they were rather sucessful (there are a few threads back in 2005-6 iirc). Secondly these reforms are not new they are only enacting the reforms they talked about in the 6th Party Congress.
The capitalist media has been attacking communism for over a century and a half.
"Don't hate on me bro" - Loz
Where there is smoke, there is fire. Cuba isn't looking at fixing the economy from the perspective of Marxists. They are going to make the same mistakes the USSR did with its reforms. History will unfortunately repeat itself here. Che embodied the ideals of the revolution and is becoming nothing more than a pop culture reference in Cuban society. Cuba has forsaken communism.
It's a sad prospect.
The question that then springs to mind is "whether they have learnt anything from the disaster which ensued when the Soviet Union went down this path".
If they are determined to abandon Communism, it would surely be preferable if they chose something along the lines of market socialism or even democratic socialism rather than descending into the full blown market anarchism which poisons the former USSR today.
Hopefully they'll come to their senses before it's too late though.
This is what I believe. Cuba should emulate the Yugoslavian model rather than the Chinese model to survive in this capitalist world. I fear that with American influence just 90 miles away, it'll become another globalised tourist detention rather than an authentic alternative to the liberal status quo.
There are no libertarians in dumpsters.
To add to Cuba forsaking Communism - Private Property is now eligible to be bought and sold for personal profits. Communism in Cuba is virtually dead
"Death is the solution to all problems. No man - no problem."
not necessarily. I agree with what Konev said. Time will tell whether socialism in Cuba manages to weather the storm through punctual reforms, stagnates into a hybrid system (though hopefully with more social services than, say, China), or collapses completely.
Back in white
I have a really hard time believing that Cuba is looking to become what Russia became in the 1990s in the 2010s..
Comrade Whiggon wrote:
Marxist define private property in the context of wage labor & capital. My understanding of private propety does not include personal property such as housing. Even where foriegn capital is involved, I am unaware that capitalists are allowed majority ownership of the private property.
"Don't hate on me bro" - Loz
Sure,i don't believe that either,but China also "switched" to capitalism without going through a disaster the Yeltsin era was...
Marshal Konev wrote:
Yes, I also see it this way, though that this retrieting can be dangerous.
Right-wing economists, social-demos etc are always in the party and waiting the right time to be given ground to work. Privatization of the land is unnaceptable.
I'm afraid that they won't be able to return to the path of the socialist revolution when they think to.
But I don't believe that cuba has abandoned socialism/communism ideologically, for the moment. THis kind of privatizations had been introduced in the past too, during the days of the hardest embargo. ie on the sugar industry etc.
Anyway.. Just for information, the Raul Castro's speech on the Sixth Session of the Seventh Legislature of the National People’s Power Assembly, covering the transforms (not in depth however)
http://www.cuba.cu/gobierno/rauldiscurs ... 1210i.html
Well, I personally don't think that Cuba is about to forsake communism. One has to say that the reforms are simply necessary. There was the exploitation of Cuba by the USA and the forced specialisation on some certain agricultural products made the country totally dependant on foreign trade. Because of that, the US embargo and the breakup of the socialist camp had some devastating consequences for Cuba. And as the Special Period started to produce some good results, there were all those devastating hurricanes. This as well as some home-grown mistakes landed Cuba in difficulties.
The decisive question to me is whether the reforms are limited as they were during the Soviet NEP, or as good as limitless as they are in China. But from what I know so far, they are rather limited. The Cuban Communists emphasized that they wouldn't allow anyone to attack the socialist system, and they warned that too much change might endanger the system. The privatisation is really minimal and only led to the development of some self-employed small businessmen - at least up to now. Additionally, all those small businessmen have to pay rather high taxes.
My opinion is that the reforms will disburden the state, increase the national budget, will lead to an innovation push (the "Cuantopropistas" will inevitably have to fill market niches) without leading Cuba onto the capitalist road. But of course, the Chinese reforms began quite harmless as well, so we all can't really know that yet.
For us in the communist movement, Cuba has to be the strong communist island whom we can turn to when we need help. Reforms were designed to improve socialism. It was not a surrender to capitalism. Those who construe them as 'surrender' are merely resorting to wishful thinking. We need Fidel and Raul more than ever especially when the police state here in Canada are relying on dirty tricks to liquidate the Communist Party of Canada. We need Fidel and Raul in these trying times. Please do not drive a wedge between the reformists and the conservatives of Cuba.
I personally don't think Raul Castro's Cuba (Or Fidel Castro's Cuba) were ever actually Socialist in the first place.
Castro wasn't actually a Communist when he took power in Cuba. During his American visit after the Cuban revolution he assured the American Imperialists that he was not a Communist:
"I am not a Communist, nor do I agree with communism". (Fidel Castro" 'Meet the Press' Programme, in: 'Castro'; Paul Humphrey: Hove; 1981; p. 42-43).
"Dr.Fidel Castro . . . went before the National Press Club here today to repeat his assurances made so often during his visit to the capital that he means nothing but friendship to the United States, that there are no Communists in his Government, that he has no plans to expropriate any foreign holdings in Cuba"., ('Times', 21 April 1959; p. 11)."
After leaving the USA, on 21 May 1959 Castro described Communism as a system :
"Which suppresses liberties, the liberties which are so dear to man." (Fidel Castro, in: 'Revolucion, 21 May 1959, in: Theodore Draper (1965): op. cit,; p. 37
Castro just kind of "randomly" became a Communist when the Soviet Union offered better economic deals then there American counter-parts.
For most of the existence of the young Republic, Cuba took on the status of a Soviet Neo Colony. Most of the Cuban economy was based on the production of sugar cane to be shipped to the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc. Marxist-Leninist Che Guevara opposed this of course pointing out that Cuba was becoming a Soviet Neo Colony.
"Under-development or distorted development, carries with it a dangerous specialization in raw materials, containing a threat of hunger for all our people. We, 'the underdeveloped', are those of the single crop, the single product, and the single market. A single product whose uncertain sale depends upon a single market, which imposes and sets conditions. This is the great formula of imperial economic domination which is combined with the old and always useful Roman formula, 'divide and conquer". (Ernesto Guevara: 'Cuba - Exception or Vanguard?', in: John Gerassi (Ed.): op. cit.; p. 135).
Castro however continued with the Soviet Social-Imperialist pleasing economic model:
"Castro announced . . . that his whole new economic policy was postulated on a spectacular increase in sugar production, aimed at reaching 10 million tons by 1970. Agricultural diversification went backward instead of forward. For example, rice production had advanced to a high point of 181,000 tons in 1957, two years before Castro, and plunged to 95,400 tons in 1962, after three years of Castro. Cuba had been forced to reorganize its entire economy'. (Theodore Draper (1965): pop. cit.; p. 172, 227, 230).
After the land reforms Agricultural cooperatives were established but they were by no means Socialist and by no means cooperatives. They did not have members who administered them and divided the profits among themselves; the workers were state employees who received a wage.
There are plenty of other reasons why Cuba was never Socialist but I'm done for now comrade
There were those who hated losing the debate that upon implementing reforms, Cuba is said to have surrendered to capitalism. All industries are owned by the state. Nothing else is privatized except some vendors selling their wares. Socialism o muerte.
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