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Thread: Damn, Fidel is dead!

  1. #41
    You knew this one was coming. Either I'm reading this wrong or these are some fuckin' simpletons. Were the Vietnamese under brutal assault for years by the imperial slaughterhouse also immersed in the "cult of guerillism?"

    <i>The political legacy of Fidel Castro
    28 November 2016

    The announcement Friday night of the death of Fidel Castro, one of the major figures of the 20th century, has provoked a broad range of public reactions reflecting the bitter controversies over his contradictory historical legacy.

    His death at 90 came nearly a decade after he surrendered the reins of unchallenged power he exercised over Cuba’s political life. For nearly half a century he was “president for life,” first secretary of the ruling Communist Party and commander-in-chief of the Cuban military, with much of this authority passing dynastically into the hands of his younger brother, Raul, who is now 85.

    His rule outlasted that of ten US presidents, from Eisenhower to George W. Bush, all of whom were committed to the overthrow of his regime, including by means of the abortive CIA-organized Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961, literally hundreds of assassination attempts, and the longest economic blockade in world history.

    The longevity of his political career is in many ways astonishing. No doubt, there were elements of the Latin American caudillo in his rule and he could be ruthless in relation to those seen as political rivals and opponents. At the same time, he possessed an undeniable personal charisma and a degree of humanism that attracted support from both the oppressed masses of Cuba and wider layers of intellectuals and radicalized youth internationally.

    The reaction of the US media to Castro’s death has been predictable. Editorial denunciations of the “brutal dictator” have been accompanied by revolting coverage giving greater air time to a few hundred right-wing Cuban exiles dancing in the streets of Miami’s Little Havana than to the somber and very real mourning among broad layers of the population in Cuba itself.

    On the island, ten years after relinquishing power, Castro has maintained a significant, albeit diminished, popular base, reflecting support for the undeniable improvements in social conditions for the country’s most impoverished layers that were wrought by the revolution he led in 1959.

    The indices of these changes come into clear focus when one compares conditions in Cuba to those prevailing in the neighboring Dominican Republic, which has roughly the same size population and gross domestic product. The murder rate in Cuba is less than one quarter that in the Dominican Republic; life expectancy is six years higher (79 vs. 73), and the Cuban infant mortality rate is roughly one-sixth the Dominican. Cuba’s literacy levels and infant mortality rates, it should be added, are also superior to those in the United States.

    The commentary in the US media centering on denunciations of Castro for political repression deserves to be placed in historical context. After all, the United States has over the course of a century supported countless dictatorships responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in Latin America alone. Castro and Castroism were ultimately the product of this bitter and bloody history.

    Castro’s own political evolution was shaped by US imperialism’s decades-long plunder and oppression following the island’s transformation as a result of the 1898 Spanish-American war from a colony of Spain into a semi-colony of Washington. Under the so-called Platt Amendment, the United States guaranteed itself the “right” to intervene in Cuban affairs as it saw fit, and seized Guantanamo Bay to serve as its military base.

    The US-backed Batista dictatorship

    Before the revolution, Washington’s man in Havana was Fulgencio Batista, who headed a ferocious dictatorship that ruled in the interests of foreign corporations, the country’s native oligarchy and the mafia, which turned the country into a center of gambling and prostitution. Torture was routine and John F. Kennedy himself commented that the regime was responsible for the political murders of at least 20,000 Cubans.

    As vicious as this regime was, it was by no means unique in the region. During the same period, Washington supported similar mass crimes carried out by Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, Duvalier in Haiti and Somoza in Nicaragua.

    Those who attempted to alter the existing order by democratic means were disposed of with violence, as seen in the CIA-organized overthrow of the Arbenz government in Guatemala in 1954. The result was a growth of seething popular hatred for the United States throughout the hemisphere.

    Born into a Spanish landowning family, Castro developed politically within the hothouse environment of student nationalist politics at Havana University. Reportedly, as a youth he was an admirer of Spanish fascist Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera and the Italian duce Benito Mussolini.

    Among his politically formative experiences was a 1948 trip as a student to Bogota, Colombia, where the US had convened an inter-American congress that was to found the Organization of American States to assert US hegemony over the region. During the visit, the assassination of Liberal Party candidate Jorge Gaitan led to the mass uprising known as the Bogatazo, in which much of the Colombian capital was destroyed and up to 3,000 were killed.

    Castro himself acknowledged that he was also significantly influenced by the politics of Juan Peron, the military officer who came to power in Argentina, admiring him for his populism, anti-Americanism and social assistance programs for the poor.

    Still in his twenties, Castro began his struggle against the US-backed dictatorship of Batista as a member of the Ortodoxo Party, a nationalist and anti-communist political tendency rooted in the Cuban petty-bourgeoisie. After running as an Ortodoxo candidate for the Cuban legislature in 1952, Castro turned to armed action a year later, leading an ill-fated assault on the Moncada army barracks in which all 200 insurgents were either killed or captured.

    Following a brief jail sentence and exile, he returned to Cuba at the end of 1956 with a relative handful of armed supporters who suffered overwhelming losses in initial engagements with government troops. Yet within barely two years, power fell into the hands of his guerrilla July 26 Movement, under conditions where both the Cuban bourgeoisie and Washington had lost confidence in Batista’s ability to rule the country.

    There existed broad international sympathy for Castro, whose uprising was seen as a struggle for democracy. Among those expressing support for the new regime was American author Ernest Hemingway, who described himself as “delighted” with the overthrow of Batista.

    Initially, Castro denied he had any sympathy for communism, insisted that his government would protect foreign capital and welcome new private investment, and sought to reach an accommodation with US imperialism.

    However, as the masses of Cuban workers and peasants were demanding results from the Castro revolution, Washington made it clear that it would tolerate not even the most modest social reforms in the territory 90 miles from US shores. The expectations within US ruling circles was that after brief celebrations of the fall of Batista, the new government would get back to business as usual. They were horrified that Castro was actually serious about changing social conditions on the island and raising the living standard of its impoverished masses. They met any attempt at altering the existing order with intransigence.

    In response to limited land reform, Washington sought to strangle the Cuban economy, cutting Cuba’s sugar export quota and then denying the island nation oil.

    Castro responded with nationalizations, first of US property, then of Cuban-owned enterprises, and turned to the Soviet bureaucracy for assistance. He simultaneously turned to the discredited Cuban Stalinist Popular Socialist Party, which had supported Batista and opposed Castro’s guerrilla movement. The Stalinists provided him with the political apparatus that he lacked.

    Castro was representative of a broader bourgeois-nationalist and anti-imperialist movement that swept the colonial and oppressed countries in the post-World War II period, giving rise to figures like Ben Bella in Algeria, Nasser in Egypt, Nkrumah in Ghana and Lumumba in the Congo, among others. Like Castro, many of them attempted to exploit the Cold War conflict between Washington and Moscow to secure their own interests.

    No doubt, there was an opportunistic element in Castro’s self-proclamation as a “Marxist-Leninist” and his turn to the Soviet Union. However, it is also the case that in 1960, the October Revolution that had transformed Russia 43 years earlier exerted a massive influence internationally, even though the Soviet bureaucracy had long since exterminated the revolution’s leaders and severed all ties to genuine Marxism.

    While the rising expectations of the Cuban masses and the obstinate reaction of US imperialism served to push Castro to the left, he was in no sense a Marxist. While sincere in his original intentions to implement significant reforms of Cuban society, his political orientation was always of a pragmatic character.

    Ultimately, Castro went the furthest in striking a Faustian bargain with Soviet Stalinism, which provided massive aid and subsidized trade in return for exploiting Cuba as a bargaining chip in its quest for “peaceful coexistence” with US imperialism.

    With the Stalinist bureaucracy’s final betrayal, the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, Cuba was thrown into a desperate economic and social crisis which the Castro government was able to offset only through an ever-widening opening to foreign capitalist investment, as well as major subsidies from Venezuela, whose own economic crisis is now closing off that source of aid as well.

    Rapprochement with Washington

    These are the conditions that laid the groundwork for a rapprochement between Washington and Cuba, with the reopening of the US embassy in Havana and Obama’s visit to the country last March. For its part, US capitalism is determined to exploit Cuban cheap labor and potentially lucrative markets and ward off the growing influence in the country of its Chinese and European rivals.

    The ruling strata in Cuba see the influx of US capital as a means of salvaging their rule while pursuing a course similar to that of China. The Cuban elite hopes to secure its own privileges and power at the expense of the Cuban working class under conditions where social inequality on the island is rapidly deepening.

    No doubt all of this troubled Castro in the last decade of his life. During this period, he continued to comment regularly in the Cuban media through a column known as “Reflections.” These writings provided little in the way of theoretical insight and reflected the thinking of a sincere petty-bourgeois radical.

    To his credit, until his death he continued to despise everything that US imperialism stood for. He vigorously attacked the hypocrisy of Barack Obama and his combination of “human rights” rhetoric and imperialist wars and drone assassination programs.

    In the aftermath of Obama’s visit to Cuba, Castro wrote one of his last columns, bitterly denouncing the US president’s speech in Havana. He declared: “... we are capable of producing the food and material riches we need with the efforts and intelligence of our people. We do not need the empire to give us anything.”

    The reality, however, is that the Obama visit and the move to “normalize” relations with US imperialism signaled that Castro’s revolution, like every other bourgeois nationalist movement and national liberation struggle led by middle-class forces, had reached its ultimate dead end, having failed to resolve the historic problems stemming from imperialist oppression of Cuba and moving toward a restoration of the neocolonialist relations that it had previously opposed.

    Only a cynic could deny the elements of heroism and tragedy in the life of Castro and, above all, the protracted struggle of the Cuban people.

    However, Castro’s legacy cannot be evaluated solely through the prism of Cuba, but must take into account the impact of his politics internationally and, above all, in Latin America.

    Here, the most catastrophic role was played by left nationalists in Latin America as well as petty-bourgeois radicals in Europe and North America in promoting Castro’s coming to power at the head of a small guerrilla army as the opening of a new path to socialism, requiring neither the conscious and independent political intervention of the working class nor the building of revolutionary Marxist parties. The myths surrounding Castro’s revolution, and, in particular, the retrograde theories of guerrillaism propagated by his erstwhile political ally Che Guevara, were promoted as the model for revolutions throughout the hemisphere.

    The role of Pabloite revisionism

    Among the most prominent proponents of this false perspective was the Pabloite revisionist tendency that emerged within the Fourth International under the leadership of Ernest Mandel in Europe and Joseph Hansen in the US, subsequently joined by Nahuel Moreno in Argentina. They insisted that Castro’s coming to power had proven that armed guerrillas led by the petty-bourgeoisie and based on the peasantry could become “natural Marxists,” compelled by objective events to carry out the socialist revolution, with the working class reduced to the role of a passive bystander.

    They further concluded that Castro’s nationalizations created a “workers state” in Cuba, despite the absence of any organs of workers’ power.

    Long before the Cuban Revolution, Leon Trotsky had explicitly rejected the facile identification of nationalizations undertaken by petty-bourgeois forces with the socialist revolution. The Transitional Program, the founding document of the Fourth International, written in 1938, declared that “one cannot categorically deny in advance the theoretical possibility that, under the influence of completely exceptional circumstances (war, defeat, financial crash, mass revolutionary pressure, etc.) the petty-bourgeois parties including the Stalinists may go further than they themselves wish along the road to a break with the bourgeoisie.” It distinguished such an episode, however, from a genuine dictatorship of the proletariat.

    In response to the expropriations carried out by the Kremlin regime in the course of its invasion of Poland (in alliance with Hitler) in 1939, Trotsky wrote: “The primary political criterion for us is not the transformation of property in this or another area, however important these may be in themselves, but rather the change in the consciousness and organization of the world proletariat, the raising of their capacity for defending former conquests and accomplishing new ones.”

    The International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) fought intransigently against the Pabloite perspective, insisting that Castroism represented not some new road to socialism, but rather only one of the more radical variants of the bourgeois nationalist movements that had come to power through much of the former colonial world. It warned that the Pabloite glorification of Castroism represented a repudiation of the entire historical and theoretical conception of the socialist revolution going back to Marx, and laid the basis for the liquidation of the revolutionary cadre assembled by the Trotskyist movement internationally into the camp of bourgeois nationalism and Stalinism.

    While waging a principled defense of Cuba against imperialist aggression, the ICFI rooted its analysis of Castroism within a broader assessment on the role of bourgeois nationalism in the epoch of imperialism.

    Defending Trotsky’s theory of permanent revolution, it wrote in 1961: “It is not the job of Trotskyists to boost the role of such nationalist leaders. They can command the support of the masses only because of the betrayal of leadership by Social-Democracy and particularly Stalinism, and in this way they become buffers between imperialism and the mass of workers and peasants. The possibility of economic aid from the Soviet Union often enables them to strike a harder bargain with the imperialists, even enables more radical elements among the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois leaders to attack imperialist holdings and gain further support from the masses. But, for us, in every case the vital question is one of the working class in these countries gaining political independence through a Marxist party, leading the poor peasantry to the building of Soviets, and recognizing the necessary connections with the international socialist revolution. In no case, in our opinion, should Trotskyists substitute for that the hope that the nationalist leadership should become socialists. The emancipation of the working class is the task of the workers themselves.”

    These warnings were tragically vindicated in Latin America where the theories promoted by the Pabloites helped divert a whole layer of radicalized youth and young workers away from the struggle to mobilize the working class against capitalism and into suicidal armed struggles that claimed thousands of lives, served to disorient the workers’ movement and helped pave the way to fascist-military dictatorships.

    In the first instance, these theories claimed the life of Guevara himself in Bolivia. Ignoring the militant struggles of the miners and the rest of the Bolivian working class, he vainly sought to recruit a guerrilla army from among the most backward and oppressed sections of the peasantry, ending up isolated and starving before being hunted down and executed by the CIA and the Bolivian military in October 1967.

    Guevara’s fate was a tragic anticipation of the disastrous consequences Castroism and Pabloite revisionism would have throughout the hemisphere. Similarly, in Argentina, the cult of guerrillaism served to blunt and disorient the revolutionary working class movement that had erupted with the mass strikes of the Cordobazo of 1969.

    Castro himself, acting both as a client of the Soviet bloc and a practitioner of realpolitik in the attempt to secure the stability of his own regime, sought to forge ties to the same Latin American bourgeois governments that those who emulated him were attempting to overthrow. Thus, in 1971 he toured Chile, extolling the “parliamentary road to socialism” in that country, even as the fascists and the military were preparing to crush the working class. He hailed military regimes in Peru and Ecuador as anti-imperialist and even embraced the corrupt apparatus of the ruling PRI in Mexico after it had overseen the massacre of students in 1968.

    The overall impact of Castro’s policies as well as those of the political tendencies who glorified him was to hold back the socialist revolution throughout the hemisphere.
    Now, the imperialist powers in general, and the US in particular, are evaluating to what extent the death of Castro can be used to advance their interests in Cuba and beyond.
    President Barack Obama issued a hypocritical statement declaring, “History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him,” and assuring that ”the Cuban people must know that they have a friend and partner in the United States of America.”

    For his part, President-elect Trump issued a statement celebrating “the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades.” There is growing speculation over whether Trump will carry through on his threats to rescind measures enacted by Obama meant to facilitate the penetration of Cuba by US banks and corporations.

    While the representatives of imperialism seek to exploit Castro’s death to advance the cause of reaction, for a new generation of workers and youth the study of the historical experience of Castroism and the far-sighted critique developed by the International Committee of the Fourth International remains a vital task in preparing the working class for coming mass revolutionary struggles and building the parties that will lead them.</i>

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/201.../pers-n28.html
    The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his “natural superiors”, and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous “cash payment”. It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom — Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.

  2. #42
    You knew this one was coming. Either I'm reading this wrong or these are some fuckin' simpletons. Were the Vietnamese under brutal assault for years by the imperial slaughterhouse also immersed in the "cult of guerillism?"

    <i>The political legacy of Fidel Castro
    28 November 2016

    The announcement Friday night of the death of Fidel Castro, one of the major figures of the 20th century, has provoked a broad range of public reactions reflecting the bitter controversies over his contradictory historical legacy.

    His death at 90 came nearly a decade after he surrendered the reins of unchallenged power he exercised over Cuba’s political life. For nearly half a century he was “president for life,” first secretary of the ruling Communist Party and commander-in-chief of the Cuban military, with much of this authority passing dynastically into the hands of his younger brother, Raul, who is now 85.

    His rule outlasted that of ten US presidents, from Eisenhower to George W. Bush, all of whom were committed to the overthrow of his regime, including by means of the abortive CIA-organized Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961, literally hundreds of assassination attempts, and the longest economic blockade in world history.

    The longevity of his political career is in many ways astonishing. No doubt, there were elements of the Latin American caudillo in his rule and he could be ruthless in relation to those seen as political rivals and opponents. At the same time, he possessed an undeniable personal charisma and a degree of humanism that attracted support from both the oppressed masses of Cuba and wider layers of intellectuals and radicalized youth internationally.

    The reaction of the US media to Castro’s death has been predictable. Editorial denunciations of the “brutal dictator” have been accompanied by revolting coverage giving greater air time to a few hundred right-wing Cuban exiles dancing in the streets of Miami’s Little Havana than to the somber and very real mourning among broad layers of the population in Cuba itself.

    On the island, ten years after relinquishing power, Castro has maintained a significant, albeit diminished, popular base, reflecting support for the undeniable improvements in social conditions for the country’s most impoverished layers that were wrought by the revolution he led in 1959.

    The indices of these changes come into clear focus when one compares conditions in Cuba to those prevailing in the neighboring Dominican Republic, which has roughly the same size population and gross domestic product. The murder rate in Cuba is less than one quarter that in the Dominican Republic; life expectancy is six years higher (79 vs. 73), and the Cuban infant mortality rate is roughly one-sixth the Dominican. Cuba’s literacy levels and infant mortality rates, it should be added, are also superior to those in the United States.

    The commentary in the US media centering on denunciations of Castro for political repression deserves to be placed in historical context. After all, the United States has over the course of a century supported countless dictatorships responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in Latin America alone. Castro and Castroism were ultimately the product of this bitter and bloody history.

    Castro’s own political evolution was shaped by US imperialism’s decades-long plunder and oppression following the island’s transformation as a result of the 1898 Spanish-American war from a colony of Spain into a semi-colony of Washington. Under the so-called Platt Amendment, the United States guaranteed itself the “right” to intervene in Cuban affairs as it saw fit, and seized Guantanamo Bay to serve as its military base.

    The US-backed Batista dictatorship

    Before the revolution, Washington’s man in Havana was Fulgencio Batista, who headed a ferocious dictatorship that ruled in the interests of foreign corporations, the country’s native oligarchy and the mafia, which turned the country into a center of gambling and prostitution. Torture was routine and John F. Kennedy himself commented that the regime was responsible for the political murders of at least 20,000 Cubans.

    As vicious as this regime was, it was by no means unique in the region. During the same period, Washington supported similar mass crimes carried out by Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, Duvalier in Haiti and Somoza in Nicaragua.

    Those who attempted to alter the existing order by democratic means were disposed of with violence, as seen in the CIA-organized overthrow of the Arbenz government in Guatemala in 1954. The result was a growth of seething popular hatred for the United States throughout the hemisphere.

    Born into a Spanish landowning family, Castro developed politically within the hothouse environment of student nationalist politics at Havana University. Reportedly, as a youth he was an admirer of Spanish fascist Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera and the Italian duce Benito Mussolini.

    Among his politically formative experiences was a 1948 trip as a student to Bogota, Colombia, where the US had convened an inter-American congress that was to found the Organization of American States to assert US hegemony over the region. During the visit, the assassination of Liberal Party candidate Jorge Gaitan led to the mass uprising known as the Bogatazo, in which much of the Colombian capital was destroyed and up to 3,000 were killed.

    Castro himself acknowledged that he was also significantly influenced by the politics of Juan Peron, the military officer who came to power in Argentina, admiring him for his populism, anti-Americanism and social assistance programs for the poor.

    Still in his twenties, Castro began his struggle against the US-backed dictatorship of Batista as a member of the Ortodoxo Party, a nationalist and anti-communist political tendency rooted in the Cuban petty-bourgeoisie. After running as an Ortodoxo candidate for the Cuban legislature in 1952, Castro turned to armed action a year later, leading an ill-fated assault on the Moncada army barracks in which all 200 insurgents were either killed or captured.

    Following a brief jail sentence and exile, he returned to Cuba at the end of 1956 with a relative handful of armed supporters who suffered overwhelming losses in initial engagements with government troops. Yet within barely two years, power fell into the hands of his guerrilla July 26 Movement, under conditions where both the Cuban bourgeoisie and Washington had lost confidence in Batista’s ability to rule the country.

    There existed broad international sympathy for Castro, whose uprising was seen as a struggle for democracy. Among those expressing support for the new regime was American author Ernest Hemingway, who described himself as “delighted” with the overthrow of Batista.

    Initially, Castro denied he had any sympathy for communism, insisted that his government would protect foreign capital and welcome new private investment, and sought to reach an accommodation with US imperialism.

    However, as the masses of Cuban workers and peasants were demanding results from the Castro revolution, Washington made it clear that it would tolerate not even the most modest social reforms in the territory 90 miles from US shores. The expectations within US ruling circles was that after brief celebrations of the fall of Batista, the new government would get back to business as usual. They were horrified that Castro was actually serious about changing social conditions on the island and raising the living standard of its impoverished masses. They met any attempt at altering the existing order with intransigence.

    In response to limited land reform, Washington sought to strangle the Cuban economy, cutting Cuba’s sugar export quota and then denying the island nation oil.

    Castro responded with nationalizations, first of US property, then of Cuban-owned enterprises, and turned to the Soviet bureaucracy for assistance. He simultaneously turned to the discredited Cuban Stalinist Popular Socialist Party, which had supported Batista and opposed Castro’s guerrilla movement. The Stalinists provided him with the political apparatus that he lacked.

    Castro was representative of a broader bourgeois-nationalist and anti-imperialist movement that swept the colonial and oppressed countries in the post-World War II period, giving rise to figures like Ben Bella in Algeria, Nasser in Egypt, Nkrumah in Ghana and Lumumba in the Congo, among others. Like Castro, many of them attempted to exploit the Cold War conflict between Washington and Moscow to secure their own interests.

    No doubt, there was an opportunistic element in Castro’s self-proclamation as a “Marxist-Leninist” and his turn to the Soviet Union. However, it is also the case that in 1960, the October Revolution that had transformed Russia 43 years earlier exerted a massive influence internationally, even though the Soviet bureaucracy had long since exterminated the revolution’s leaders and severed all ties to genuine Marxism.

    While the rising expectations of the Cuban masses and the obstinate reaction of US imperialism served to push Castro to the left, he was in no sense a Marxist. While sincere in his original intentions to implement significant reforms of Cuban society, his political orientation was always of a pragmatic character.

    Ultimately, Castro went the furthest in striking a Faustian bargain with Soviet Stalinism, which provided massive aid and subsidized trade in return for exploiting Cuba as a bargaining chip in its quest for “peaceful coexistence” with US imperialism.

    With the Stalinist bureaucracy’s final betrayal, the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, Cuba was thrown into a desperate economic and social crisis which the Castro government was able to offset only through an ever-widening opening to foreign capitalist investment, as well as major subsidies from Venezuela, whose own economic crisis is now closing off that source of aid as well.

    Rapprochement with Washington

    These are the conditions that laid the groundwork for a rapprochement between Washington and Cuba, with the reopening of the US embassy in Havana and Obama’s visit to the country last March. For its part, US capitalism is determined to exploit Cuban cheap labor and potentially lucrative markets and ward off the growing influence in the country of its Chinese and European rivals.

    The ruling strata in Cuba see the influx of US capital as a means of salvaging their rule while pursuing a course similar to that of China. The Cuban elite hopes to secure its own privileges and power at the expense of the Cuban working class under conditions where social inequality on the island is rapidly deepening.

    No doubt all of this troubled Castro in the last decade of his life. During this period, he continued to comment regularly in the Cuban media through a column known as “Reflections.” These writings provided little in the way of theoretical insight and reflected the thinking of a sincere petty-bourgeois radical.

    To his credit, until his death he continued to despise everything that US imperialism stood for. He vigorously attacked the hypocrisy of Barack Obama and his combination of “human rights” rhetoric and imperialist wars and drone assassination programs.

    In the aftermath of Obama’s visit to Cuba, Castro wrote one of his last columns, bitterly denouncing the US president’s speech in Havana. He declared: “... we are capable of producing the food and material riches we need with the efforts and intelligence of our people. We do not need the empire to give us anything.”

    The reality, however, is that the Obama visit and the move to “normalize” relations with US imperialism signaled that Castro’s revolution, like every other bourgeois nationalist movement and national liberation struggle led by middle-class forces, had reached its ultimate dead end, having failed to resolve the historic problems stemming from imperialist oppression of Cuba and moving toward a restoration of the neocolonialist relations that it had previously opposed.

    Only a cynic could deny the elements of heroism and tragedy in the life of Castro and, above all, the protracted struggle of the Cuban people.

    However, Castro’s legacy cannot be evaluated solely through the prism of Cuba, but must take into account the impact of his politics internationally and, above all, in Latin America.

    Here, the most catastrophic role was played by left nationalists in Latin America as well as petty-bourgeois radicals in Europe and North America in promoting Castro’s coming to power at the head of a small guerrilla army as the opening of a new path to socialism, requiring neither the conscious and independent political intervention of the working class nor the building of revolutionary Marxist parties. The myths surrounding Castro’s revolution, and, in particular, the retrograde theories of guerrillaism propagated by his erstwhile political ally Che Guevara, were promoted as the model for revolutions throughout the hemisphere.

    The role of Pabloite revisionism

    Among the most prominent proponents of this false perspective was the Pabloite revisionist tendency that emerged within the Fourth International under the leadership of Ernest Mandel in Europe and Joseph Hansen in the US, subsequently joined by Nahuel Moreno in Argentina. They insisted that Castro’s coming to power had proven that armed guerrillas led by the petty-bourgeoisie and based on the peasantry could become “natural Marxists,” compelled by objective events to carry out the socialist revolution, with the working class reduced to the role of a passive bystander.

    They further concluded that Castro’s nationalizations created a “workers state” in Cuba, despite the absence of any organs of workers’ power.

    Long before the Cuban Revolution, Leon Trotsky had explicitly rejected the facile identification of nationalizations undertaken by petty-bourgeois forces with the socialist revolution. The Transitional Program, the founding document of the Fourth International, written in 1938, declared that “one cannot categorically deny in advance the theoretical possibility that, under the influence of completely exceptional circumstances (war, defeat, financial crash, mass revolutionary pressure, etc.) the petty-bourgeois parties including the Stalinists may go further than they themselves wish along the road to a break with the bourgeoisie.” It distinguished such an episode, however, from a genuine dictatorship of the proletariat.

    In response to the expropriations carried out by the Kremlin regime in the course of its invasion of Poland (in alliance with Hitler) in 1939, Trotsky wrote: “The primary political criterion for us is not the transformation of property in this or another area, however important these may be in themselves, but rather the change in the consciousness and organization of the world proletariat, the raising of their capacity for defending former conquests and accomplishing new ones.”

    The International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) fought intransigently against the Pabloite perspective, insisting that Castroism represented not some new road to socialism, but rather only one of the more radical variants of the bourgeois nationalist movements that had come to power through much of the former colonial world. It warned that the Pabloite glorification of Castroism represented a repudiation of the entire historical and theoretical conception of the socialist revolution going back to Marx, and laid the basis for the liquidation of the revolutionary cadre assembled by the Trotskyist movement internationally into the camp of bourgeois nationalism and Stalinism.

    While waging a principled defense of Cuba against imperialist aggression, the ICFI rooted its analysis of Castroism within a broader assessment on the role of bourgeois nationalism in the epoch of imperialism.

    Defending Trotsky’s theory of permanent revolution, it wrote in 1961: “It is not the job of Trotskyists to boost the role of such nationalist leaders. They can command the support of the masses only because of the betrayal of leadership by Social-Democracy and particularly Stalinism, and in this way they become buffers between imperialism and the mass of workers and peasants. The possibility of economic aid from the Soviet Union often enables them to strike a harder bargain with the imperialists, even enables more radical elements among the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois leaders to attack imperialist holdings and gain further support from the masses. But, for us, in every case the vital question is one of the working class in these countries gaining political independence through a Marxist party, leading the poor peasantry to the building of Soviets, and recognizing the necessary connections with the international socialist revolution. In no case, in our opinion, should Trotskyists substitute for that the hope that the nationalist leadership should become socialists. The emancipation of the working class is the task of the workers themselves.”

    These warnings were tragically vindicated in Latin America where the theories promoted by the Pabloites helped divert a whole layer of radicalized youth and young workers away from the struggle to mobilize the working class against capitalism and into suicidal armed struggles that claimed thousands of lives, served to disorient the workers’ movement and helped pave the way to fascist-military dictatorships.

    In the first instance, these theories claimed the life of Guevara himself in Bolivia. Ignoring the militant struggles of the miners and the rest of the Bolivian working class, he vainly sought to recruit a guerrilla army from among the most backward and oppressed sections of the peasantry, ending up isolated and starving before being hunted down and executed by the CIA and the Bolivian military in October 1967.

    Guevara’s fate was a tragic anticipation of the disastrous consequences Castroism and Pabloite revisionism would have throughout the hemisphere. Similarly, in Argentina, the cult of guerrillaism served to blunt and disorient the revolutionary working class movement that had erupted with the mass strikes of the Cordobazo of 1969.

    Castro himself, acting both as a client of the Soviet bloc and a practitioner of realpolitik in the attempt to secure the stability of his own regime, sought to forge ties to the same Latin American bourgeois governments that those who emulated him were attempting to overthrow. Thus, in 1971 he toured Chile, extolling the “parliamentary road to socialism” in that country, even as the fascists and the military were preparing to crush the working class. He hailed military regimes in Peru and Ecuador as anti-imperialist and even embraced the corrupt apparatus of the ruling PRI in Mexico after it had overseen the massacre of students in 1968.

    The overall impact of Castro’s policies as well as those of the political tendencies who glorified him was to hold back the socialist revolution throughout the hemisphere.
    Now, the imperialist powers in general, and the US in particular, are evaluating to what extent the death of Castro can be used to advance their interests in Cuba and beyond.
    President Barack Obama issued a hypocritical statement declaring, “History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him,” and assuring that ”the Cuban people must know that they have a friend and partner in the United States of America.”

    For his part, President-elect Trump issued a statement celebrating “the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades.” There is growing speculation over whether Trump will carry through on his threats to rescind measures enacted by Obama meant to facilitate the penetration of Cuba by US banks and corporations.

    While the representatives of imperialism seek to exploit Castro’s death to advance the cause of reaction, for a new generation of workers and youth the study of the historical experience of Castroism and the far-sighted critique developed by the International Committee of the Fourth International remains a vital task in preparing the working class for coming mass revolutionary struggles and building the parties that will lead them.</i>

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/201.../pers-n28.html
    The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his “natural superiors”, and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous “cash payment”. It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom — Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.

  3. #43
    You knew this one was coming. Either I'm reading this wrong or these are some fuckin' simpletons. Were the Vietnamese under brutal assault for years by the imperial slaughterhouse also immersed in the "cult of guerillism?"
    Shit, you would expect this from the Trots. Every communist revolution is "anti-working class", every communist leader is a "dictator and strong-man", all communist movements are "deformed" or "nationalist" or some such bullshit. Why shouldn't the Trots and those who agree with them join hands with the MSM and grave dance? It's what they do...
    "America was never great"

    "Anyone who analyzes the state of affairs in the world will find that it is the imperialists and capitalists, who subject the world to the worst poverty, the worst backwardness, and they are simply the scourge of mankind." - Fidel

    "Privilege begets psychopathy" - blindpig

  4. #44
    in his own words...

    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  5. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by blindpig View Post
    in his own words...

    Viva Fidel!
    "America was never great"

    "Anyone who analyzes the state of affairs in the world will find that it is the imperialists and capitalists, who subject the world to the worst poverty, the worst backwardness, and they are simply the scourge of mankind." - Fidel

    "Privilege begets psychopathy" - blindpig

  6. #46
    http://www.iww.org/de/history/librar.../copinyourhead

    Authoritarian Leftists: Kill the Cop in Your Head

    By Lorenzo Komboa Ervin - Black Autonomy, April 1996.
    On Authority

    Written: 1872;
    Published: 1874 in the Italian, Almanacco Republicano;
    Source: Marx-Engels Reader, New York: W. W. Norton and Co., second edition, 1978 (first edition, 1972), pp 730-733.;
    Translated: Robert C. Tucker;
    Transcribed: by Mike Lepore.

    A number of Socialists have latterly launched a regular crusade against what they call the principle of authority. It suffices to tell them that this or that act is authoritarian for it to be condemned. This summary mode of procedure is being abused to such an extent that it has become necessary to look into the matter somewhat more closely.

    Authority, in the sense in which the word is used here, means: the imposition of the will of another upon ours; on the other hand, authority presupposes subordination. Now, since these two words sound bad, and the relationship which they represent is disagreeable to the subordinated party, the question is to ascertain whether there is any way of dispensing with it, whether — given the conditions of present-day society — we could not create another social system, in which this authority would be given no scope any longer, and would consequently have to disappear.

    On examining the economic, industrial and agricultural conditions which form the basis of present-day bourgeois society, we find that they tend more and more to replace isolated action by combined action of individuals. Modern industry, with its big factories and mills, where hundreds of workers supervise complicated machines driven by steam, has superseded the small workshops of the separate producers; the carriages and wagons of the highways have become substituted by railway trains, just as the small schooners and sailing feluccas have been by steam-boats. Even agriculture falls increasingly under the dominion of the machine and of steam, which slowly but relentlessly put in the place of the small proprietors big capitalists, who with the aid of hired workers cultivate vast stretches of land.

    Everywhere combined action, the complication of processes dependent upon each other, displaces independent action by individuals. But whoever mentions combined action speaks of organisation; now, is it possible to have organisation without authority?

    Supposing a social revolution dethroned the capitalists, who now exercise their authority over the production and circulation of wealth. Supposing, to adopt entirely the point of view of the anti-authoritarians, that the land and the instruments of labour had become the collective property of the workers who use them. Will authority have disappeared, or will it only have changed its form? Let us see.

    Let us take by way if example a cotton spinning mill. The cotton must pass through at least six successive operations before it is reduced to the state of thread, and these operations take place for the most part in different rooms. Furthermore, keeping the machines going requires an engineer to look after the steam engine, mechanics to make the current repairs, and many other labourers whose business it is to transfer the products from one room to another, and so forth. All these workers, men, women and children, are obliged to begin and finish their work at the hours fixed by the authority of the steam, which cares nothing for individual autonomy. The workers must, therefore, first come to an understanding on the hours of work; and these hours, once they are fixed, must be observed by all, without any exception. Thereafter particular questions arise in each room and at every moment concerning the mode of production, distribution of material, etc., which must be settled by decision of a delegate placed at the head of each branch of labour or, if possible, by a majority vote, the will of the single individual will always have to subordinate itself, which means that questions are settled in an authoritarian way. The automatic machinery of the big factory is much more despotic than the small capitalists who employ workers ever have been. At least with regard to the hours of work one may write upon the portals of these factories: Lasciate ogni autonomia, voi che entrate! [Leave, ye that enter in, all autonomy behind!]

    If man, by dint of his knowledge and inventive genius, has subdued the forces of nature, the latter avenge themselves upon him by subjecting him, in so far as he employs them, to a veritable despotism independent of all social organisation. Wanting to abolish authority in large-scale industry is tantamount to wanting to abolish industry itself, to destroy the power loom in order to return to the spinning wheel.

    Let us take another example — the railway. Here too the co-operation of an infinite number of individuals is absolutely necessary, and this co-operation must be practised during precisely fixed hours so that no accidents may happen. Here, too, the first condition of the job is a dominant will that settles all subordinate questions, whether this will is represented by a single delegate or a committee charged with the execution of the resolutions of the majority of persona interested. In either case there is a very pronounced authority. Moreover, what would happen to the first train dispatched if the authority of the railway employees over the Hon. passengers were abolished?

    But the necessity of authority, and of imperious authority at that, will nowhere be found more evident than on board a ship on the high seas. There, in time of danger, the lives of all depend on the instantaneous and absolute obedience of all to the will of one.

    When I submitted arguments like these to the most rabid anti-authoritarians, the only answer they were able to give me was the following: Yes, that's true, but there it is not the case of authority which we confer on our delegates, but of a commission entrusted! These gentlemen think that when they have changed the names of things they have changed the things themselves. This is how these profound thinkers mock at the whole world.

    We have thus seen that, on the one hand, a certain authority, no matter how delegated, and, on the other hand, a certain subordination, are things which, independently of all social organisation, are imposed upon us together with the material conditions under which we produce and make products circulate.

    We have seen, besides, that the material conditions of production and circulation inevitably develop with large-scale industry and large-scale agriculture, and increasingly tend to enlarge the scope of this authority. Hence it is absurd to speak of the principle of authority as being absolutely evil, and of the principle of autonomy as being absolutely good. Authority and autonomy are relative things whose spheres vary with the various phases of the development of society. If the autonomists confined themselves to saying that the social organisation of the future would restrict authority solely to the limits within which the conditions of production render it inevitable, we could understand each other; but they are blind to all facts that make the thing necessary and they passionately fight the world.

    Why do the anti-authoritarians not confine themselves to crying out against political authority, the state? All Socialists are agreed that the political state, and with it political authority, will disappear as a result of the coming social revolution, that is, that public functions will lose their political character and will be transformed into the simple administrative functions of watching over the true interests of society. But the anti-authoritarians demand that the political state be abolished at one stroke, even before the social conditions that gave birth to it have been destroyed. They demand that the first act of the social revolution shall be the abolition of authority. Have these gentlemen ever seen a revolution? A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is the act whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part by means of rifles, bayonets and cannon — authoritarian means, if such there be at all; and if the victorious party does not want to have fought in vain, it must maintain this rule by means of the terror which its arms inspire in the reactionists. Would the Paris Commune have lasted a single day if it had not made use of this authority of the armed people against the bourgeois? Should we not, on the contrary, reproach it for not having used it freely enough?

    Therefore, either one of two things: either the anti-authoritarians don't know what they're talking about, in which case they are creating nothing but confusion; or they do know, and in that case they are betraying the movement of the proletariat. In either case they serve the reaction.

    https://www.marxists.org/archive/mar.../authority.htm

    In case it isn't clear, this is from Engels.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  7. #47
    In case it isn't clear, this is from Engels.
    That was clear by the end of the second paragraph. Great post.

    "Authority" isn't the problem, it's who controls the authority - that's the problem. "Bureaucracy" is not a problem - it is the ends of bureaucracy that's the problem. Authority and bureaucracy are just social tools, and in the hands of the working class, really good tools.
    "America was never great"

    "Anyone who analyzes the state of affairs in the world will find that it is the imperialists and capitalists, who subject the world to the worst poverty, the worst backwardness, and they are simply the scourge of mankind." - Fidel

    "Privilege begets psychopathy" - blindpig

  8. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Dhalgren View Post
    That was clear by the end of the second paragraph. Great post.

    "Authority" isn't the problem, it's who controls the authority - that's the problem. "Bureaucracy" is not a problem - it is the ends of bureaucracy that's the problem. Authority and bureaucracy are just social tools, and in the hands of the working class, really good tools.
    Back in the day Anax once said he was an authoritarian and I was very puzzled, especially so as I then claimed to be an anarchist. Nowadays, just a hair wiser, I look forward to the day when the working class are the authoritarians. The blanket rejection of authority is a juvenile trait, the whine of the frustrated teenager. It is associated with capitalist consumer culture.(Have it YOUR way!)
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  9. #49
    I look forward to the day when the working class are the authoritarians. The blanket rejection of authority is a juvenile trait, the whine of the frustrated teenager. It is associated with capitalist consumer culture.(Have it YOUR way!)
    Agree 100%
    "America was never great"

    "Anyone who analyzes the state of affairs in the world will find that it is the imperialists and capitalists, who subject the world to the worst poverty, the worst backwardness, and they are simply the scourge of mankind." - Fidel

    "Privilege begets psychopathy" - blindpig

  10. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by Dhalgren View Post
    That was clear by the end of the second paragraph. Great post.

    "Authority" isn't the problem, it's who controls the authority - that's the problem. "Bureaucracy" is not a problem - it is the ends of bureaucracy that's the problem. Authority and bureaucracy are just social tools, and in the hands of the working class, really good tools.
    Nothing is in the hands of the working class with top down state socialism under autocratic rule. To view this through a subjective lens - rather than the historical realities on the ground - is the thought process of a gullible house slave of the Soviet variety.

  11. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by blindpig View Post
    On Authority

    Written: 1872;
    Published: 1874 in the Italian, Almanacco Republicano;
    Source: Marx-Engels Reader, New York: W. W. Norton and Co., second edition, 1978 (first edition, 1972), pp 730-733.;
    Translated: Robert C. Tucker;
    Transcribed: by Mike Lepore.

    A number of Socialists have latterly launched a regular crusade against what they call the principle of authority. It suffices to tell them that this or that act is authoritarian for it to be condemned. This summary mode of procedure is being abused to such an extent that it has become necessary to look into the matter somewhat more closely.

    Authority, in the sense in which the word is used here, means: the imposition of the will of another upon ours; on the other hand, authority presupposes subordination. Now, since these two words sound bad, and the relationship which they represent is disagreeable to the subordinated party, the question is to ascertain whether there is any way of dispensing with it, whether — given the conditions of present-day society — we could not create another social system, in which this authority would be given no scope any longer, and would consequently have to disappear.

    On examining the economic, industrial and agricultural conditions which form the basis of present-day bourgeois society, we find that they tend more and more to replace isolated action by combined action of individuals. Modern industry, with its big factories and mills, where hundreds of workers supervise complicated machines driven by steam, has superseded the small workshops of the separate producers; the carriages and wagons of the highways have become substituted by railway trains, just as the small schooners and sailing feluccas have been by steam-boats. Even agriculture falls increasingly under the dominion of the machine and of steam, which slowly but relentlessly put in the place of the small proprietors big capitalists, who with the aid of hired workers cultivate vast stretches of land.

    Everywhere combined action, the complication of processes dependent upon each other, displaces independent action by individuals. But whoever mentions combined action speaks of organisation; now, is it possible to have organisation without authority?

    Supposing a social revolution dethroned the capitalists, who now exercise their authority over the production and circulation of wealth. Supposing, to adopt entirely the point of view of the anti-authoritarians, that the land and the instruments of labour had become the collective property of the workers who use them. Will authority have disappeared, or will it only have changed its form? Let us see.

    Let us take by way if example a cotton spinning mill. The cotton must pass through at least six successive operations before it is reduced to the state of thread, and these operations take place for the most part in different rooms. Furthermore, keeping the machines going requires an engineer to look after the steam engine, mechanics to make the current repairs, and many other labourers whose business it is to transfer the products from one room to another, and so forth. All these workers, men, women and children, are obliged to begin and finish their work at the hours fixed by the authority of the steam, which cares nothing for individual autonomy. The workers must, therefore, first come to an understanding on the hours of work; and these hours, once they are fixed, must be observed by all, without any exception. Thereafter particular questions arise in each room and at every moment concerning the mode of production, distribution of material, etc., which must be settled by decision of a delegate placed at the head of each branch of labour or, if possible, by a majority vote, the will of the single individual will always have to subordinate itself, which means that questions are settled in an authoritarian way. The automatic machinery of the big factory is much more despotic than the small capitalists who employ workers ever have been. At least with regard to the hours of work one may write upon the portals of these factories: Lasciate ogni autonomia, voi che entrate! [Leave, ye that enter in, all autonomy behind!]

    If man, by dint of his knowledge and inventive genius, has subdued the forces of nature, the latter avenge themselves upon him by subjecting him, in so far as he employs them, to a veritable despotism independent of all social organisation. Wanting to abolish authority in large-scale industry is tantamount to wanting to abolish industry itself, to destroy the power loom in order to return to the spinning wheel.

    Let us take another example — the railway. Here too the co-operation of an infinite number of individuals is absolutely necessary, and this co-operation must be practised during precisely fixed hours so that no accidents may happen. Here, too, the first condition of the job is a dominant will that settles all subordinate questions, whether this will is represented by a single delegate or a committee charged with the execution of the resolutions of the majority of persona interested. In either case there is a very pronounced authority. Moreover, what would happen to the first train dispatched if the authority of the railway employees over the Hon. passengers were abolished?

    But the necessity of authority, and of imperious authority at that, will nowhere be found more evident than on board a ship on the high seas. There, in time of danger, the lives of all depend on the instantaneous and absolute obedience of all to the will of one.

    When I submitted arguments like these to the most rabid anti-authoritarians, the only answer they were able to give me was the following: Yes, that's true, but there it is not the case of authority which we confer on our delegates, but of a commission entrusted! These gentlemen think that when they have changed the names of things they have changed the things themselves. This is how these profound thinkers mock at the whole world.

    We have thus seen that, on the one hand, a certain authority, no matter how delegated, and, on the other hand, a certain subordination, are things which, independently of all social organisation, are imposed upon us together with the material conditions under which we produce and make products circulate.

    We have seen, besides, that the material conditions of production and circulation inevitably develop with large-scale industry and large-scale agriculture, and increasingly tend to enlarge the scope of this authority. Hence it is absurd to speak of the principle of authority as being absolutely evil, and of the principle of autonomy as being absolutely good. Authority and autonomy are relative things whose spheres vary with the various phases of the development of society. If the autonomists confined themselves to saying that the social organisation of the future would restrict authority solely to the limits within which the conditions of production render it inevitable, we could understand each other; but they are blind to all facts that make the thing necessary and they passionately fight the world.

    Why do the anti-authoritarians not confine themselves to crying out against political authority, the state? All Socialists are agreed that the political state, and with it political authority, will disappear as a result of the coming social revolution, that is, that public functions will lose their political character and will be transformed into the simple administrative functions of watching over the true interests of society. But the anti-authoritarians demand that the political state be abolished at one stroke, even before the social conditions that gave birth to it have been destroyed. They demand that the first act of the social revolution shall be the abolition of authority. Have these gentlemen ever seen a revolution? A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is the act whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part by means of rifles, bayonets and cannon — authoritarian means, if such there be at all; and if the victorious party does not want to have fought in vain, it must maintain this rule by means of the terror which its arms inspire in the reactionists. Would the Paris Commune have lasted a single day if it had not made use of this authority of the armed people against the bourgeois? Should we not, on the contrary, reproach it for not having used it freely enough?

    Therefore, either one of two things: either the anti-authoritarians don't know what they're talking about, in which case they are creating nothing but confusion; or they do know, and in that case they are betraying the movement of the proletariat. In either case they serve the reaction.

    https://www.marxists.org/archive/mar.../authority.htm

    In case it isn't clear, this is from Engels.

    "Against this transformation of the state and the organs of the state from servants of society into masters of society – an inevitable transformation in all previous states – the Commune made use of two infallible expedients. In this first place, it filled all posts – administrative, judicial, and educational – by election on the basis of universal suffrage of all concerned, with the right of the same electors to recall their delegate at any time. And in the second place, all officials, high or low, were paid only the wages received by other workers. The highest salary paid by the Commune to anyone was 6,000 francs. In this way an effective barrier to place-hunting and careerism was set up, even apart from the binding mandates to delegates to representative bodies which were also added in profusion."

    "This shattering of the former state power and its replacement by a new and really democratic state is described in detail in the third section of The Civil War. But it was necessary to dwell briefly here once more on some of its features, because in Germany particularly the superstitious belief in the state has been carried over from philosophy into the general consciousness of the bourgeoisie and even to many workers. According to the philosophical notion, “the state is the realization of the idea” or the Kingdom of God on earth, translated into philosophical terms, the sphere in which eternal truth and justice is or should be realized. And from this follows a superstitious reverence for the state and everything connected with it, which takes roots the more readily as people from their childhood are accustomed to imagine that the affairs and interests common to the whole of society could not be looked after otherwise than as they have been looked after in the past, that is, through the state and its well-paid officials. And people think they have taken quite an extraordinary bold step forward when they have rid themselves of belief in hereditary monarchy and swear by the democratic republic. In reality, however, the state is nothing but a machine for the oppression of one class by another, and indeed in the democratic republic no less than in the monarchy; and at best an evil inherited by the proletariat after its victorious struggle for class supremacy, whose worst sides the proletariat, just like the Commune, cannot avoid having to lop off at the earliest possible moment, until such time as a new generation, reared in new and free social conditions, will be able to throw the entire lumber of the state on the scrap-heap."

    "Of late, the Social-Democratic philistine has once more been filled with wholesome terror at the words: Dictatorship of the Proletariat. Well and good, gentlemen, do you want to know what this dictatorship looks like? Look at the Paris Commune. That was the Dictatorship of the Proletariat."

    -- Frederick Engels

  12. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by SteelPirate View Post
    Nothing is in the hands of the working class with top down state socialism under autocratic rule. To view this through a subjective lens - rather than the historical realities on the ground - is the thought process of a gullible house slave of the Soviet variety.
    Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Whew!
    "America was never great"

    "Anyone who analyzes the state of affairs in the world will find that it is the imperialists and capitalists, who subject the world to the worst poverty, the worst backwardness, and they are simply the scourge of mankind." - Fidel

    "Privilege begets psychopathy" - blindpig

  13. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by blindpig View Post
    On Authority

    Written: 1872;
    Published: 1874 in the Italian, Almanacco Republicano;
    Source: Marx-Engels Reader, New York: W. W. Norton and Co., second edition, 1978 (first edition, 1972), pp 730-733.;
    Translated: Robert C. Tucker;
    Transcribed: by Mike Lepore.

    A number of Socialists have latterly launched a regular crusade against what they call the principle of authority. It suffices to tell them that this or that act is authoritarian for it to be condemned. This summary mode of procedure is being abused to such an extent that it has become necessary to look into the matter somewhat more closely.

    Authority, in the sense in which the word is used here, means: the imposition of the will of another upon ours; on the other hand, authority presupposes subordination. Now, since these two words sound bad, and the relationship which they represent is disagreeable to the subordinated party, the question is to ascertain whether there is any way of dispensing with it, whether — given the conditions of present-day society — we could not create another social system, in which this authority would be given no scope any longer, and would consequently have to disappear.

    On examining the economic, industrial and agricultural conditions which form the basis of present-day bourgeois society, we find that they tend more and more to replace isolated action by combined action of individuals. Modern industry, with its big factories and mills, where hundreds of workers supervise complicated machines driven by steam, has superseded the small workshops of the separate producers; the carriages and wagons of the highways have become substituted by railway trains, just as the small schooners and sailing feluccas have been by steam-boats. Even agriculture falls increasingly under the dominion of the machine and of steam, which slowly but relentlessly put in the place of the small proprietors big capitalists, who with the aid of hired workers cultivate vast stretches of land.

    Everywhere combined action, the complication of processes dependent upon each other, displaces independent action by individuals. But whoever mentions combined action speaks of organisation; now, is it possible to have organisation without authority?

    Supposing a social revolution dethroned the capitalists, who now exercise their authority over the production and circulation of wealth. Supposing, to adopt entirely the point of view of the anti-authoritarians, that the land and the instruments of labour had become the collective property of the workers who use them. Will authority have disappeared, or will it only have changed its form? Let us see.

    Let us take by way if example a cotton spinning mill. The cotton must pass through at least six successive operations before it is reduced to the state of thread, and these operations take place for the most part in different rooms. Furthermore, keeping the machines going requires an engineer to look after the steam engine, mechanics to make the current repairs, and many other labourers whose business it is to transfer the products from one room to another, and so forth. All these workers, men, women and children, are obliged to begin and finish their work at the hours fixed by the authority of the steam, which cares nothing for individual autonomy. The workers must, therefore, first come to an understanding on the hours of work; and these hours, once they are fixed, must be observed by all, without any exception. Thereafter particular questions arise in each room and at every moment concerning the mode of production, distribution of material, etc., which must be settled by decision of a delegate placed at the head of each branch of labour or, if possible, by a majority vote, the will of the single individual will always have to subordinate itself, which means that questions are settled in an authoritarian way. The automatic machinery of the big factory is much more despotic than the small capitalists who employ workers ever have been. At least with regard to the hours of work one may write upon the portals of these factories: Lasciate ogni autonomia, voi che entrate! [Leave, ye that enter in, all autonomy behind!]

    If man, by dint of his knowledge and inventive genius, has subdued the forces of nature, the latter avenge themselves upon him by subjecting him, in so far as he employs them, to a veritable despotism independent of all social organisation. Wanting to abolish authority in large-scale industry is tantamount to wanting to abolish industry itself, to destroy the power loom in order to return to the spinning wheel.

    Let us take another example — the railway. Here too the co-operation of an infinite number of individuals is absolutely necessary, and this co-operation must be practised during precisely fixed hours so that no accidents may happen. Here, too, the first condition of the job is a dominant will that settles all subordinate questions, whether this will is represented by a single delegate or a committee charged with the execution of the resolutions of the majority of persona interested. In either case there is a very pronounced authority. Moreover, what would happen to the first train dispatched if the authority of the railway employees over the Hon. passengers were abolished?

    But the necessity of authority, and of imperious authority at that, will nowhere be found more evident than on board a ship on the high seas. There, in time of danger, the lives of all depend on the instantaneous and absolute obedience of all to the will of one.

    When I submitted arguments like these to the most rabid anti-authoritarians, the only answer they were able to give me was the following: Yes, that's true, but there it is not the case of authority which we confer on our delegates, but of a commission entrusted! These gentlemen think that when they have changed the names of things they have changed the things themselves. This is how these profound thinkers mock at the whole world.

    We have thus seen that, on the one hand, a certain authority, no matter how delegated, and, on the other hand, a certain subordination, are things which, independently of all social organisation, are imposed upon us together with the material conditions under which we produce and make products circulate.

    We have seen, besides, that the material conditions of production and circulation inevitably develop with large-scale industry and large-scale agriculture, and increasingly tend to enlarge the scope of this authority. Hence it is absurd to speak of the principle of authority as being absolutely evil, and of the principle of autonomy as being absolutely good. Authority and autonomy are relative things whose spheres vary with the various phases of the development of society. If the autonomists confined themselves to saying that the social organisation of the future would restrict authority solely to the limits within which the conditions of production render it inevitable, we could understand each other; but they are blind to all facts that make the thing necessary and they passionately fight the world.

    Why do the anti-authoritarians not confine themselves to crying out against political authority, the state? All Socialists are agreed that the political state, and with it political authority, will disappear as a result of the coming social revolution, that is, that public functions will lose their political character and will be transformed into the simple administrative functions of watching over the true interests of society. But the anti-authoritarians demand that the political state be abolished at one stroke, even before the social conditions that gave birth to it have been destroyed. They demand that the first act of the social revolution shall be the abolition of authority. Have these gentlemen ever seen a revolution? A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is the act whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part by means of rifles, bayonets and cannon — authoritarian means, if such there be at all; and if the victorious party does not want to have fought in vain, it must maintain this rule by means of the terror which its arms inspire in the reactionists. Would the Paris Commune have lasted a single day if it had not made use of this authority of the armed people against the bourgeois? Should we not, on the contrary, reproach it for not having used it freely enough?

    Therefore, either one of two things: either the anti-authoritarians don't know what they're talking about, in which case they are creating nothing but confusion; or they do know, and in that case they are betraying the movement of the proletariat. In either case they serve the reaction.

    https://www.marxists.org/archive/mar.../authority.htm

    In case it isn't clear, this is from Engels.
    You know, he doesn't seem to understand it, but our tinparrot posted a "rebuttal" to your post that actually reinforced your post. When the proletarians take over a state government and its apparatus they take over the authority and the bureaucracy in order to exert control over other the enemy class. It makes no difference that the takeover was voted on democratically - that's what the Party of the Working Class does, decide what is to be done. Again, BP, great post.
    "America was never great"

    "Anyone who analyzes the state of affairs in the world will find that it is the imperialists and capitalists, who subject the world to the worst poverty, the worst backwardness, and they are simply the scourge of mankind." - Fidel

    "Privilege begets psychopathy" - blindpig

  14. #54
    Fidel Castro’s Legacy and the Hypocrisy of His Detractors
    worker | November 29, 2016 | 8:22 am | Fidel Castro
    16:53 29.11.2016(updated 16:57 29.11.2016)

    John Wight110260Fidel Castro’s death, at 90, has sparked a fierce debate in the West over his legacy. I specifically mention the West as elsewhere there is no debate: Castro is lauded as one of history’s great emancipators, a man who led a revolution that succeeded in throwing off the yoke of US imperialism. But in the West the liberal commentariat has united as one in denouncing Castro as an evil tyrant and torturer who ruled Cuba for over five decades with an iron fist, quashing the human rights of the Cuban people, who in the wake of his death can now look forward to the future safe in the knowledge that freedom and democracy beckons. When we talk about Castro’s critics, it is worth pointing out that we are talking here people who live in societies where poverty has been unofficially criminalized and the poor demonized, despised, and abandoned to a fate of destitution and despair. We are talking, in the main, the kind of men and women who walk or drive past the ever-growing army of homeless who colonize the streets of towns and cities throughout the West, casualties of a neoliberal economic system that is the real tyrant in our world, without batting an eyelid. In other words, we are talking people whose condemnation of Fidel Castro is suffused with hypocrisy, the kind that is common among those who have imbibed the received truths of empire. The most fundamental of those truths is that the West has been divinely ordained with the task of colonizing a Third World — culturally, economically, and geopolitically — that consists of peoples of lower cultures, civilizations and human worth. The metric by which Castro’s legacy should be judged is the transformation of Cuba as a result of the revolution he led and inspired. And in this regard one salient fact shines forth more than any other — namely that the only place in the world where you will find homeless Cuban children today is Miami. Let us take a moment to examine in detail the legacy of the “tyrant” Fidel Castro: Cuba is today the only country in the Americas where child malnourishment does not exit (UNICEF). Cuba has the lowest child mortality rate in the Americas (UNICEF). 130,000 students have graduated from medical school in Cuba since 1961 Cuba has eliminated homelessness (Knoema) 54% of Cuba’s national budget is used for social services. Cuba has the best education system in Latin America Cuba has sent hundreds of doctors and nurses on medical missions across the Third World Cuba was the first country to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV (World Health Organization) If only the Haitian people or the people of the Dominican Republic had such a tyrant ruling their countries. If only the poor in the US and UK had such a tyrant at the head of their respective governments. When it comes to the accusation that homosexuals were persecuted in Cuba after the revolution, there is no doubt that LGBT rights were non-existent in Cuba in the sixties and for most of the seventies, just as they were non existent throughout much of the world. Homosexuality, for example, was decriminalized in Cuba in 1979, which compares favorably to Scotland and Northern Ireland in the UK, where it was decriminalized in 1980 and 1982 respectively. Moreover, same-sex sexual activity was only made legal across the entire United States in 2003. It is also worth bearing in mind that homosexuality today is criminalized in Saudi Arabia — a close UK and US ally and a society in which women are treated as chattel and people are routinely beheaded — where it is punishable by death. The fact is that the existence of homophobia in Cuba predated Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution by around five centuries. It was entrenched as part of the cultural values of Cuban society, indeed the cultural values throughout the Americas, courtesy of the Catholic Church. Fidel Castro was a product of those values and to his credit later renounced them, awakening to the justice of LGBT rights. Today his own niece, Mariela Castro, plays an active role in the Cuban LGBT community, leading the country’s annual gay pride parade in Havana last year. As for torture, meanwhile, the only place on the island of Cuba where this can be found is at the US military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. The key point to be borne in mind when it comes to Cuba and its state of development is that countries and societies do not exist on blank sheets of paper. In the Third World their development cannot be divorced from a real life struggle against the huge obstacles placed in their way by histories of colonialism, neo-colonialism, and imperialism, responsible for retarding their progress in service to the exploitation of their human and natural resources. The legitimacy of the Cuban Revolution lies in its survival in the face of the aforementioned US blockade, designed to starve the country to its knees for daring to refuse to be slaves of global capital. To understand what that would look like all we need do is cast our eyes over to the aforementioned Haiti or Dominican Republic, countries of comparable size located in the same region. Compared to them Cuba stands as a beacon of dignity, social and economic justice, and sustainable development. Is Castro’s Death the Death of US and Cuba Normalization? The lack of political rights in Cuba throughout Castro’s lifetime is directly attributable to the US embargo and threat of invasion and subversion by the most destructive superpower the world has ever known, whose record in destroying Third World countries is inarguable. Numerous acts of US-sponsored terrorism have been committed against Cuba and the Cuban people over the years, yet the lack of invective being directed at Washington stands in contrast to the amount unleashed against Castro and his legacy. Funny that. Fidel Castro was no dictator. On the contrary, he dedicated his life to resisting Washington’s dictatorship of the Third World. As a result of the Cuban Revolution the right to be homeless, illiterate, and to go without healthcare no longer exists in Cuba. In their place have come the most fundamental human rights of all — the right to be educated, to healthcare that is free at the point of need, and the right to live with dignity and pride in being the citizen of a small island that has stood over decades as a beacon of justice in an ocean of injustice. This, in truth, is the reason ‘they’ despise him. And this, in truth, is why millions of Cubans will come out and pay tribute to his life and legacy on the day of his funeral. For them he will forever be ‘El Comandante’. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

    http://houstoncommunistparty.com/fid...is-detractors/
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  15. #55
    the only place in the world where you will find homeless Cuban children today is Miami.
    That says it all.
    "America was never great"

    "Anyone who analyzes the state of affairs in the world will find that it is the imperialists and capitalists, who subject the world to the worst poverty, the worst backwardness, and they are simply the scourge of mankind." - Fidel

    "Privilege begets psychopathy" - blindpig

  16. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by Dhalgren View Post
    You know, he doesn't seem to understand it, but our tinparrot posted a "rebuttal" to your post that actually reinforced your post. When the proletarians take over a state government and its apparatus they take over the authority and the bureaucracy in order to exert control over other the enemy class. It makes no difference that the takeover was voted on democratically - that's what the Party of the Working Class does, decide what is to be done. Again, BP, great post.
    LOL..the Paris Commune revolutionaries had no "party" - as you use the term in reference to vandguardist autocrats and in defense of Stalin, Lenin, and the Bolsheviks (as "representatives of the working class") confused grasshopper - to take over the state apparatus. Now you can argue the point that they should have had one... but that is not MY point. My point is no vanguard party is needed for a working class revolution to take place nor is it needed to defend a working class revolution. The "dictatorship" of the working class is a far different beast than the dictatorship of an autocratic vanguard running the show with ZERO input from the working class or the "peasants" in the trenches.

    "I never had much faith in leaders. I am willing to be charged with almost anything, rather than to be charged with being a leader. I am suspicious of leaders, and especially of the intellectual variety. Give me the rank and file every day in the week. I do not want you to follow me or anyone else; if you are looking for a Moses to lead you out of this capitalist wilderness, you will stay right where you are. I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I led you in, some one else would lead you out."

    --Eugene Debs

    Perhaps you put yourself on a mantle above the "idiot and uneducated workers who you must mold" Dhalgren ? You imagine yourself part of an elitist intellectual vanguard that will lead the charge ? An autocrat is necessary to "defend the revolution" perpetually I'm sure from your perch of "advanced class consciousness" ... because "them dumb motherfucking workers ain't up to the task and need to be led by some fucked up vanguard until they become perfected socialist specimens isn't that right Dhalgren ? You ought to build a fucking alter and offer up perpetual prayer to the gods of Lenin, Stalin, and autocratic rule because it sounds more like a fucking religion every day than it does left wing working class politics. Fuck the capitalist bosses and fuck the "socialist" bosses and fuck any house slave who buys into autocratic rule.

  17. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by blindpig View Post
    Fidel Castro’s Legacy and the Hypocrisy of His Detractors
    worker | November 29, 2016 | 8:22 am | Fidel Castro
    16:53 29.11.2016(updated 16:57 29.11.2016)

    John Wight110260Fidel Castro’s death, at 90, has sparked a fierce debate in the West over his legacy. I specifically mention the West as elsewhere there is no debate: Castro is lauded as one of history’s great emancipators, a man who led a revolution that succeeded in throwing off the yoke of US imperialism. But in the West the liberal commentariat has united as one in denouncing Castro as an evil tyrant and torturer who ruled Cuba for over five decades with an iron fist, quashing the human rights of the Cuban people, who in the wake of his death can now look forward to the future safe in the knowledge that freedom and democracy beckons. When we talk about Castro’s critics, it is worth pointing out that we are talking here people who live in societies where poverty has been unofficially criminalized and the poor demonized, despised, and abandoned to a fate of destitution and despair. We are talking, in the main, the kind of men and women who walk or drive past the ever-growing army of homeless who colonize the streets of towns and cities throughout the West, casualties of a neoliberal economic system that is the real tyrant in our world, without batting an eyelid. In other words, we are talking people whose condemnation of Fidel Castro is suffused with hypocrisy, the kind that is common among those who have imbibed the received truths of empire. The most fundamental of those truths is that the West has been divinely ordained with the task of colonizing a Third World — culturally, economically, and geopolitically — that consists of peoples of lower cultures, civilizations and human worth. The metric by which Castro’s legacy should be judged is the transformation of Cuba as a result of the revolution he led and inspired. And in this regard one salient fact shines forth more than any other — namely that the only place in the world where you will find homeless Cuban children today is Miami. Let us take a moment to examine in detail the legacy of the “tyrant” Fidel Castro: Cuba is today the only country in the Americas where child malnourishment does not exit (UNICEF). Cuba has the lowest child mortality rate in the Americas (UNICEF). 130,000 students have graduated from medical school in Cuba since 1961 Cuba has eliminated homelessness (Knoema) 54% of Cuba’s national budget is used for social services. Cuba has the best education system in Latin America Cuba has sent hundreds of doctors and nurses on medical missions across the Third World Cuba was the first country to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV (World Health Organization) If only the Haitian people or the people of the Dominican Republic had such a tyrant ruling their countries. If only the poor in the US and UK had such a tyrant at the head of their respective governments. When it comes to the accusation that homosexuals were persecuted in Cuba after the revolution, there is no doubt that LGBT rights were non-existent in Cuba in the sixties and for most of the seventies, just as they were non existent throughout much of the world. Homosexuality, for example, was decriminalized in Cuba in 1979, which compares favorably to Scotland and Northern Ireland in the UK, where it was decriminalized in 1980 and 1982 respectively. Moreover, same-sex sexual activity was only made legal across the entire United States in 2003. It is also worth bearing in mind that homosexuality today is criminalized in Saudi Arabia — a close UK and US ally and a society in which women are treated as chattel and people are routinely beheaded — where it is punishable by death. The fact is that the existence of homophobia in Cuba predated Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution by around five centuries. It was entrenched as part of the cultural values of Cuban society, indeed the cultural values throughout the Americas, courtesy of the Catholic Church. Fidel Castro was a product of those values and to his credit later renounced them, awakening to the justice of LGBT rights. Today his own niece, Mariela Castro, plays an active role in the Cuban LGBT community, leading the country’s annual gay pride parade in Havana last year. As for torture, meanwhile, the only place on the island of Cuba where this can be found is at the US military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. The key point to be borne in mind when it comes to Cuba and its state of development is that countries and societies do not exist on blank sheets of paper. In the Third World their development cannot be divorced from a real life struggle against the huge obstacles placed in their way by histories of colonialism, neo-colonialism, and imperialism, responsible for retarding their progress in service to the exploitation of their human and natural resources. The legitimacy of the Cuban Revolution lies in its survival in the face of the aforementioned US blockade, designed to starve the country to its knees for daring to refuse to be slaves of global capital. To understand what that would look like all we need do is cast our eyes over to the aforementioned Haiti or Dominican Republic, countries of comparable size located in the same region. Compared to them Cuba stands as a beacon of dignity, social and economic justice, and sustainable development. Is Castro’s Death the Death of US and Cuba Normalization? The lack of political rights in Cuba throughout Castro’s lifetime is directly attributable to the US embargo and threat of invasion and subversion by the most destructive superpower the world has ever known, whose record in destroying Third World countries is inarguable. Numerous acts of US-sponsored terrorism have been committed against Cuba and the Cuban people over the years, yet the lack of invective being directed at Washington stands in contrast to the amount unleashed against Castro and his legacy. Funny that. Fidel Castro was no dictator. On the contrary, he dedicated his life to resisting Washington’s dictatorship of the Third World. As a result of the Cuban Revolution the right to be homeless, illiterate, and to go without healthcare no longer exists in Cuba. In their place have come the most fundamental human rights of all — the right to be educated, to healthcare that is free at the point of need, and the right to live with dignity and pride in being the citizen of a small island that has stood over decades as a beacon of justice in an ocean of injustice. This, in truth, is the reason ‘they’ despise him. And this, in truth, is why millions of Cubans will come out and pay tribute to his life and legacy on the day of his funeral. For them he will forever be ‘El Comandante’. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

    http://houstoncommunistparty.com/fid...is-detractors/
    In truth...a lot of liberals take a shine to Castro and always have. They love the idea of a top town controlled welfare state of distributed crumbs masquerading as working class power... rather than the workers and "peasants" actually controlling their own destiny at every point of production and distribution of resources and the means of life.

  18. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by Dhalgren View Post
    That says it all.
    Yep
    The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his “natural superiors”, and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous “cash payment”. It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom — Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.

  19. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by SteelPirate View Post
    In truth...a lot of liberals take a shine to Castro and always have.
    Not the liberals I know and confront. Not the liberals on the interwebs I have been noticing over the last few days.

    The liberal narrative I have been hearing has mostly to do with the possibilities of tourism to Cuba now that Fidel has passed and the "hope" for (liberal) democracy in Cuba.
    The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his “natural superiors”, and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous “cash payment”. It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom — Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.

  20. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by SteelPirate View Post
    In truth...a lot of liberals take a shine to Castro and always have. They love the idea of a top town controlled welfare state of distributed crumbs masquerading as working class power... rather than the workers and "peasants" actually controlling their own destiny at every point of production and distribution of resources and the means of life.
    Well then, I suppose that the hundreds of thousands thronging the streets in Cuba are dupes at best...you really got a lot of gall. You gonna tell me about the billions that Fidel stole from the Cuban people too?

    Do you understand that your accusations against real, existing socialism are the same that capitalists make?

    Or that your unicorns & rainbows ideas about politics have never accomplished squat, are born of petty booj idealism, while communism has has provided a better life for hundreds of million?

    What I'd like to know is, as you claim to have followed this site for years and presumably know what our opinions are, why are you trolling this place?

    Edit: 3 million Cubans, about 25% of the population, and that's just today.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

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