Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Cuban CP Congress Ratifies Economic Guidelines – Workers’ Control and International Socialism Absent From Discussion

Written by Jorge Martin
Tuesday, 07 June 2011

The long delayed VI Congress of the Cuban Communist Party took place on April 16-19 in Havana and discussed the Guidelines on Economic and Social Policy for the Party and the Revolution. The Congress was timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the attempted Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, when Fidel Castro proclaimed the “socialist character of the revolution”.

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Thersites said...

At bottom, the main problem is the isolation of the revolution to one single island. It is impossible to build socialism in one country and this is even more the case on a small island with very few natural resources, which is therefore completely dependent on the world market. The collapse of Stalinism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe revealed this in an extremely cruel manner.

A vuja de moment, Stardate 3615.2

At bottom, the main problem is the isolation of the revolution to one single planet. It is impossible to galactic socialism on one planet and this is even more the case on a small planet with very few natural resources almost entirely covered in oceans, which is therefore completely dependent on the galactic market. The collapse of Fidelism in Cuba and the ALBA group revealed this in an extremely cruel manner.

roman said...

What historical facts can be pointed to that Marxism would succesfully provide for all mankind if only it were global and not just confined to an "island"? It was tried in various governments for over 90+ years on half the planet with,at best, poor results.

Frank Partisan said...

I'll reply tomorrow night.

SecondComingOfBast said...

Roman, the reason it would have to be international and world wide to be successful is because, frankly, it can not under the best scenario hope to compete with a true free market system, even on its best days. As long as only half the world is socialist and the other half capitalist, the socialist system looks like the loser that it is. That's not just the facts, that's the proven facts.

Ross Wolfe said...

From the beginning Marx understood the international character of capitalism, and saw that it was creating many of the same changes across artificial borders. He saw no reason why petty national differences of tradition and arbitrary convention should prevent a more general equality across the globe. In fact, I don't know why a true free market advocate wouldn't want a nationless global system, either. It would eliminate arbitrary interstate deals and domestic favoritism. A unified currency would also vastly equalize the playing field.

But in terms of Marxism's commitment to global revolution in the most advanced capitalist nations, the experience of the Paris Commune in 1871 was a major learning experience. Isolated as it was, all the major capitalist powers conspired to crush the Commune in its infancy. Also, it should be obvious why "socialism" would look bad when it's confined to a backwater authoritarian hellhole like Cuba.

Frank Partisan said...

Capitalism is not a national system. Neither is socialism.

Isolation is isolation. When countries boycotted Spain when Franco was in power, its GNP was way lower, than when the world opened up to it.

China shows what a nationalized economy can do, with access to the world market.

Ross: Cuba is a poor tropical island. Haiti is a better example of a hell hole.

Thersites: Again capitalism is also a world system.

Roman: A country that was at one time almost illiterate, sent the first satellite to the sky.

Even Stalinism provided great advances in productivity, science and defense.
Capitalism worked for a short period from 1950-70. Its been downhill.

Pagan: Compete what? Productivity? Healthcare? Life span is higher in Cuba, than most of Latin America. Would you rather be in a Haitian or a Cuban hospital?

SecondComingOfBast said...

I would rather be in a Cuban hospital if I were a Cuban communist apparatchik, otherwise I doubt it would make a dimes worth of difference.

SecondComingOfBast said...


A world economic system is one thing, a world political system is something else again. You will never eradicate national differences, because most people don't want that. Why would they? Why would anyone in their right mind want to lower their own standard of living, if they had a choice, in order to raise up someone else. It goes against human nature and is a recipe for open revolt.

National borders are what they are and they serve a protective purpose that nothing will replace.

Not to mention it would not change a damn thing when it comes to trade. There is either trade agreements that are mutually beneficial or not. There's no need for a one size fits all system.

Who would run your perfect little global world. Who decides who the leaders are? And why should I obey them? Why should a bunch of fucks half a world away dictate how I live my life, or have even the most minute say in how I live my life?

If it turned out like I am reasonably sure it would, I would just as soon the whole damn globe go up in a ball of flames tomorrow.

Speedy G said...

China shows what a nationalized economy can do, with access to the world market.

So did Great Britain in the eighteenth century. But does the world really need another "nationalized" British East India Tea Company that sails into Bejiing and demand that the Chinese buy their opium?

Speedy G said...

...and the Americans buy their stinking tea?

Coffee, please.

Speedy G said...

The one-size fits-all communist approach doesn't work because the world's resources are not equally distributed and regional environments vary (as do the needs of the people for food and energy) from north to south, east to west.

The habits, traditions, etc. of a desert people are vastly different from a coastal people, are vastly different from an agricultural or technologically oriented people.

Any attempt, therefore, to create an "equality" amongst people around the globe is absolute folly.

Eyeglasses for Plutus is all that the "revolutionaries" have to offer the world, and we've seen first hand how badly the optomitrists eyesight actually is and how empty political promises REALLY are (Medicare being underfunded currently to the tune of $27 trillion).

If it's a choice between a dollar earned via capitalism today and a socialist politician's promise for $100 tomorrow, don't be stupid, take the dollar.

SecondComingOfBast said...

Better yet, buy gold.

Joe Conservative said...

Not gold-pressed latinum?

Ferengi Rules of Acquisition #102 - Nature decays, but Latinum lasts forever.

SecondComingOfBast said...

There are some international currencies that might be a worthwhile investment, such as the Indian rupee or the Iraqi dinar, but I'd have to avoid anybody that approached me with an offer of interstellar currencies, unless they were glowing.

SecondComingOfBast said...

I'd wait on the dollar. It's got a ways to go yet, that is, in the down direction. After a while though, granted, it will have no place to go but up.

Frank Partisan said...

SpeedyG: Marx believed there was two kinds of labor; simple (unskilled) and complex (skilled). He believed in differentials. You are mistaking Bakunin for Marx.

Joe C: It's a dated idea. Trotsky believed in the gold standard.

Pagan: National differences are eradicated daily. We have a world capitalist crisis.

SecondComingOfBast said...

No we have a world capitalist crises that socialists like you are trying to paint as a capitalist crisis. People with a general understanding of finance-not economics, but finance-understand that fact.

Frank Partisan said...

Pagan: It's a crisis of overproduction. Commodities unable to be sold.

Finance capital and monopoly capital have become one. Instead of productive investment, its about making money from paper.

The US has high productivity, combined with a job crisis.

SecondComingOfBast said...

Yeah that makes sense, but if its a crisis of overproduction its probably because no one is buying at the current prices and no one is willing to sell for cost or below cost. It takes you right back to socialist policies via regulatory regimes keeping prices artificially inflated, along with high tax rates, fueled by deficit spending by government, and unrealistic expectations of organized public sector and private sector unions imposed on taxpayers and businesses. Add to that artificially inflated energy costs. Call it Big Government Stew. No one can stand the stinking stuff.

Ross Wolfe said...

I really could care less whether or not the leading capitalist countries have big public sectors or are mostly free market. Either way there will be crisis. There were devastating crises throughout the nineteenth century during times of almost total laissez-faire economic policy. There have been crises during more government-regulated state interventionist capitalist economies. Crisis isn't unusual under capitalism -- it's business as usual. As I've restated ad nauseum, it doesn't mean shit if it's big government capitalism or small government capitalism...it's all equally capitalism.

Ross Wolfe said...

Government regulation of free enterprise is not socialist. Universal healthcare is not necessarily socialist. Neither is public education. It's not even a matter of whether it's public property vs. private property. As long as the majority of products produced by society are commodities, i.e., intended to be supervalued through circulation, then the society is fundamentally capitalist. It would just be state capitalism if the majority of products were still commodities. Most leftists, let alone rightists, don't even realize this.

SecondComingOfBast said...

What the hell is the majority of products supposed to be then? You're talking in circles. The market sees a need, it answers that need, people respond. If you build it they will come. The creation of leisure time is probably the overall and abiding proof of the success of capitalism, a term I really don't like, but I use because its the commonly accepted term even by "rightests".

How much leisure time has socialism produced? Or fascism, or anything else? The only leisure time anything else has produced has been based on poverty and depression.

Shit if it weren't for capitalism we wouldn't even be having this discussion. I'd be too busy trying to find a good stable to put my horse for the night. The fucking automobile would have never been invented, let alone the computer.

SecondComingOfBast said...

Just face the facts, everything communists ever invented was nothing but a derivative of a capitalist invention or idea. You guys are free riders. If you take over, once you develop all existing processes to their logical limits, any future potential innovation is out the window.

Joe Conservative said...

It's a crisis of overproduction. Commodities unable to be sold

In a "free market", what you describe is impossible. Supply/ Demand = Price, End of story.

If something is "unable to be sold", that's a problem of "socialism" demanding too high a price for the cr*p some non-capitalist bureaucrat has artificially set and shouldn't have ever been made.

Speedy G said...

Here's the REAL reason why the communists insist that their "revolutions" be world wide in scope...

...that way there's no where else to run.

Frank Partisan said...

I'll reply tonight.

Just face the facts, everything communists ever invented was nothing but a derivative of a capitalist invention or idea.

Capitalism came out of feudalism. It's called negation of negation. The dialectical process.

Joe Conservative said...

Marx also promises to pull a rabbit out of his hat. Sounds like a negation of a negation, the dialectical process, but is it really?

Oooops! I think Marx might need a new hat!

Joe Conservative said...

Marx certainly was no Mr. Know-it-all.

Frank Partisan said...

Ross: Castro nor Stalin were state capitalists. That type of analysis is what you'd find on the old editorial board of National Review, with James Burhham etc. If there was state capitalism, the capitalist class would have overthrown Stalin, Castro, Tito, Mao, Nasser etc. There is a difference between a bureaucracy, and a capitalist class.

Speedy: ...that way there's no where else to run.

Why do you think, there are no new states powerful like the US?

The commodity definition doesn't take in a transitioning state.

Pagan: Yeah that makes sense, but if its a crisis of overproduction its probably because no one is buying at the current prices and no one is willing to sell for cost or below cost.


JoeC: Supply/ Demand = Price, End of story.

There is that in a transitioning economy.

Price is fairer under capitalism, than systems based on barter.

sonia said...

I just came back from Cuba (that's why I was off the net for the last two weeks - no Internet access where I was).

Jorge Martin's article is completely disconnected from Cuban reality. Theoretically, Cuba right now is a slave plantation where slaves are paid in a phony currency - Cuban pesos - that is only accepted in company stores (which as mostly empty anyway). The reason that nobody protested when Raul fired all those government workers is because nobody could ever live only on official government wages anyway. They were all only pretending to work for government's Cuban pesos - in reality they created a parallel capitalist economy, where everything of value is produced and traded in CONVERTIBLE pesos - CUC. All Cubans now live under those capitalistic rules. Even in health care, to get proper treatment, bribes have to be paid. In CONVERTIBLE pesos.

The only thing that can be easily bought in Cuban pesos are books. Everything else - only CUCs.