Re: (OPE-L) dreams and nightmares

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Mon May 19 2003 - 10:27:04 EDT

> [Nicky:]... In my view Riccardo is right to point out
> that the memory of Allende survives not because he was defeated by US
> imperialism but because he DID NOT resort to repression in his defence.

The memory of Allende survives because his government's experience
instructs us as to implications of believing in the democratic intentions
of the U.S. bourgoisie.  This, I believe, is Alfredo's point.
Conscious and open pacificism (a la Allende) in the face of the bourgoisie
will indeed lead to >>> a memory.  The alternative is a not simple-minded
"go get your guns, comrades", however.

Both China and Cuba are nominally socialist.  We have not debated capital
punishment in China, which has the world's most extreme record, I believe.
Does this mean that one is 'socialist' and worth debating, and the other
is not and not worth debating?  or that Cuba just happened to come up as a
result of Fred's report?

I knew well a Cuban exile in the late 60s.  He was anti-Castro.  Castro's
governments, he said, had executed some 1000 Batistas after 1/1/59.  He
told me that no one objected to those executions because there were real
S.O.B.'s.  In other words, being for or against Castro's government was
not defined around executions as such.

Of course, anyone can object to the death penalty in principle for
everyone from Eichmann on.  But what happens when you disconnect
yourselves from genuine aspirations of ordinary working peoples in the
process?  Would those who ALWAYS oppose the death penalty be willing to
put the issue to a democratic vote within socialism (with genuine access
to alternative points of view before voting), accept losing such a vote,
and move on?

Nobody has argued that Venezuela is 'socialist'.  Cuba is closer to
Venezuela than to 'socialism', in my view, not least in the role today of
capitalist control and ownership of substantial (not all) means of
production. It could be discussed in a similar context. If so, I think it
would reduce the emotional load.


"Confronting 9-11, Ideologies of Race, and Eminent Economists", Vol. 20
RESEARCH IN POLITICAL ECONOMY,  Paul Zarembka, editor, Elsevier Science

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