[Marxism] Cujban CP official Oscar Martinex on new economic policy

Manuel Barrera mtomas3 at hotmail.com
Sun Nov 28 10:58:14 MST 2010

Oscar Martínez said:"... But also our productivity is too low. We need greater efficiency and more saving to ensure economic growth. We are a small country with limited resources. We need better organize our production, improve discipline, and update our economic model. We are importing far too much, especially food, and need to be more self-sufficient. We need to focus far more on agriculture. Food production has now become an issue of national security."

Yes, isn't that whole "socialism [or even close to socialism] in one country" thing a bear (sic)? 
I used to believe that being a great example of "what could be done" was a great point of departure in showing people interested in socialism that at least there was one country where capitalism had been overturned And there were revolutionary internationalists at the helm who could and should be emulated.

I believe that still to be true. However, I believe the epoch in which such exemplars are a sufficient guide to action is (or at least in process of) passing. At some point, "swimming in a sea of mud" just to survive is simply an exercise for the dying. Cuban leaders and their pretenders in Venezuela and Bolivia, while not complacent, seem stuck in their perceived roles as example to others. However, the Cuban people are a truly conscious (in their majority at least) people with great intellectual, programmatic, and organizational "wealth" in the 50+ years of struggle against insurmountable odds. Is providing doctors, teachers, even soldiers to countries in need really the best way to defend the revolution? The metaphors have to change; no more swimming in mud. To find ways for a "socialist" state to survive economically using the language and tactics more akin to radical trade unionists fighting for better conditions within a capitalist system illustrates the futility of trying to "hang on" (as if the laws of the class struggle are somehow immune and not simply exacerbated within a worker's state). 
What the world needs is a nation of organizers--proletarian internationalist activists, international party builders--not "excellent stewards" of dismal resources in one "island in the sun". The Cuban example is powerful not in its defeat of capital within its borders, but in its potential capacity to galvanize the world working class. To think otherwise is selling the Cuban revolution short at best and confining itself into a stalinist bureaucratic quagmire of isolationism at worst. 

Being a person of color, I have spent a lifetime learning and then simply knowing that I would have to do better than my privileged counterparts just even to be acknowledged. I turned that reality into an understanding that it would Never matter what I could individually accomplish as doing so would never bring me anything but grudging tolerance and ultimate rejection regardless. I say this simply to point out that no matter how sterling our efforts or those of our comrades (e.g., in Cuba), such great examples will Never suffice because the kernel of our strivings is a society corrupt in its evolution no matter how material the history from which it spawned. There really is only one outcome that will bring any of us peace; and it is not finding and simply defending our own "little piece of heaven". 

The materialist dialectic indicates that out of the contradictions of class exploitation will come the conditions for proletarian usurpation of the world of privilege and inhumanity. But that usurpation is Never inevitable as history has shown; at least not without the ultimately dialectical intervention of revolutionary leadership. That leadership, to be sure, will be born of that same proletariat who began as a class tied to survival with the meager means it was/is provided by the liars, cheats, and hoarders of the world wealth but that will finally become the liberators of the world from the scourge of privilege with want. For such a leadership to emerge, we must go beyond examples to action; from fending for oneself in a "revolutionary" fashion to driving the example forward and fomenting it not with zealous "emulation" but with helping to empower, galvanize, and organize the rest of "us" in every corner of this globe.  		 	   		  

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