Re: (OPE-L) Re: dreams and nightmares

From: Riccardo Bellofiore (riccardo.bellofiore@UNIBG.IT)
Date: Fri May 16 2003 - 10:28:10 EDT

At 9:10 -0400 16-05-2003, gerald_a_levy wrote:
>Hi Riccardo and Nicky.
>To begin with, I think your claim about the repression of  homosexuals
>in Cuba is out-of-date in that it fails to comprehend the reforms that have
>taken place since the early 1980s.  It was valid as a criticism in the 1960's
>and 1970's, but times have changed and so has the position of the Cuban
>government (both on paper and in actuality) on homosexuality.

may be. in Italian newspapers (of the far left: il manifesto, but
lately also Liberazione, of the communist party) say otherwise, but I
have not now the documentation to send it to you.

>As for capital punishment,  I think we need to begin with a materialist
>analysis rather than only an ethical objection.  That is, _why_ do we
>oppose capital punishment in capitalist societies and can that opposition
>to capital punishment be generalized for all social formations and times?

the short answer to the latter question is: yes. the long answer is: yes.

>In the kitchen of my small apartment (on the opposite side of the wall
>where I am typing this message now) there is a poster by Peg Avery
>from the War Resister's League dated 1978 with the legend "Capital
>punishment means them without the capital get the punishment."
>Independently of whether you support or oppose capital punishment
>under all circumstances,  surely you would recognize that there is a
>different reason in Cuba today for capital punishment.  That should be

I don't think so: I think it is helping Cuba's enemies. More than
that, I think we cannot divorce the means frrom the ends (this is not
an ethical judgement). And I believe that liberty (not even, but
especially) in a communist society is the liberty of those who thinks
differently. I submit that all, all communist experiences who, one
way or the other, started defending themselves with terror or
repression changed their nature. you know, I think that I can have a
different judegment, say, for Robespierre (because he had no history
behind, so to speak), or even USSR just after the revolution. But
afterwards exactly those actions helped to destroy the revolution
from within (rember Kronstadt).

>As for the "repression of dissenters", I believe that we have to ask *who*
>these "dissenters" are and *what* is the actual relation that they have to
>US imperialism.

I think there must be other means to defend themselves. But one of my
points is that these actions are in the end self-defeating,
practically and theoretically.

>As it happens, this is a topic that has been discussed
>briefly on the "Capital-and-Class" list in the past day.  Two posts
>that I wrote on that subject, responding to Alan Johnson, are attached.
>In general, I agree that part of the responsibility of Marxists, that flows
>from our internationalism, is to adopt a critical standpoint towards the
>praxis of other socialists internationally.  Yet, we also have a
>responsibility to get our facts straight before explaining our criticism.
>And we must recognize that the US is a major player in this event
>rather than it only being a matter of "internal" dissent and government

do you think I ever denied your last point, jerry?


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