[Marxism] ISO and Cuba

stansmith44 stansmith44 at ameritech.net
Thu Jun 17 22:09:35 MDT 2004

In answer to Walter, as I have said, the ISO does nothing in defense of Cuba. I am here in Chicago, where the ISO headquarters is, and they ignore all actions in defense of Cuba as much as possible. Their approach is nearly identical to the US SWP's approach to the anti-war movement.

   Those on this list who defend the ISO position say they don't want to get into some long debate on the subject. In other words, they admit their views are intellectually and politically indefensible, and so want to hush up the subject. 
   The most they have been able to muster is a few quotes from Lenin referring to revolutionary Russia as state capitalist. It would follow then, that they would support revolutionary Russia about as much as they would support revolutionary Cuba. And it would follow, then, that the ISO would consider the Soviet Union as always being state capitalist since November 7, 1917.
    What Phil says below is partly accurate. It wouldn't "necessarily" follow that their state capitalist views leads to accommodation to imperialism. Nevertheless, with the ISO and Cuba it does follow. And why does it follow? Because the ISO is not hostile to Cuba because of their false state capitalist views; they are hostile to socialism, except in their own theoretical schemas, and so invent a "state capitalist"  "theory" to justify their hostility. Their state capitalism may have arisen in the late 1930s in relation to the Stalinist bureaucracy, but they have subsequently applied it to attack every popular revolution since then. Attacking revolutionary movements under attack by imperialism is nothing else but accommodating imperialism.

 Phil says,"of course, the more enthusiastic a group is about Cuba (like Workers World or the FSP) the more likely they are to prioritise Cuba solidarity." This is not true. Prioritizing solidarity, for political people, is based on the requirements of the class struggle. Anti-imperialist activists would give priority in their political work to those under attack by imperialism. For instance,we did not prioritize defending Iraq because we were enthusiastic about Saddam Hussein. 

    Stan Smith 

Beyond publishing its documents analyzing Cuba, it would be
of interest to find out what practical activity the ISO has done
in in relation to Cuba. 

Walter Lippmann

Btw, I don't think the American ISO's state cap analysis of Cuba
necessarily would lead to accommodation to US imperialism.  Presumably
they would view Cuba as a Third World country which had to be defended
from the imperialists, in the same way that Iraq or Afghanistan has to
be supported against the Western powers.

The most important thing is the practice in relation to anti-imperialism
and ISO's state cap theory *should not* actually stop them being active
against the blockade although, of course, the more enthusiastic a group
is about Cuba (like Workers World or the FSP) the more likely they are
to prioritise Cuba solidarity.

Philip Ferguson

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