Re: Dreams and Nightmares

From: dashyaf@EASYNET.CO.UK
Date: Mon May 19 2003 - 16:28:10 EDT


The comparison is not a serious one. We are not dealing
with  revolutionaries who played a leading role in the Cuban revolution but
with a group of people  organised and financed by the US. The leader of the
'Independent' journalists and the Cuban Human Rights Group were, in fact,
intelligence agents working for the Cuban government and so knew exactly
what was going on. Have you read the contributions by Castro and Roque on
the affair? You can get them at in the Whats New section.

David Yaffe

At 20:59 19/05/03 +0100, you wrote:
>I've been reading John Saville's 'Memoirs from the Left' (just published by
>Merlin) in which he describes (pp.36-8) the atmosphere prevailing during
>the Purge trials 1936-8. The trials were open, with dozens of journalists
>and diplomats present. The defendants (mostly) had long records of
>revolutionary activity. There were no signs of physical torture. No one
>(except Krestinsky in the last trial, and he retracted the following day)
>suggested the evidence was faked. The trials were reported world-wide,
>there were books and pamphlets, there was widespread acknowledgement of the
>correctness of the judicial proceedings, and overwhelmingly the weight of
>conclusion was in favour of the genuineness of the trials (which is not to
>discount the honourable exceptions).
>Why did no defendant stand up, like Dimitrov in the Reichstag trial, and
>denounce the court and all of its proceedings?
>Presumably, because of the increasingly threatening international
>situation. (After all, Bukharin was shot 3 days after the Germans marched
>into Austria.) This is what underpins the dilemmas in 'Darkness at Noon'.
>It is also explicitly the justification underpinning Merleau-Ponti's
>'Humanism and Terror'. And it is wrong, for two (not very distinct) reasons.
>1. It is morally wrong, because unless socialists can behave in ways which
>in some sense prefigure the society they want to create, they demobilise
>2. It is politically wrong, because one thing the 20C has taught us (well,
>me at least) is that compromises in pursuit of some greater goal always end
>up compromising the compromisers.
>Supporting Cuba does not mean supporting every last feature of contemporary
>Cuban justice, and it does not entail staying silent at injustice and
>oppression. It's no different from supporting the Palestinian struggle, but
>condemning the suicide bombing of civilian targets. There are obviously
>many many such examples in today's pretty grim world. A common riposte is
>that you can't make an omlette without breaking eggs. But the end is not
>divorced from the means, for the means chosen have an unhappy knack of
>shaping the ends that are achievable - another lesson from the 20C. So,
>solidarity with Cuba: yes; unconditional support for everything the Cubans
>do: no. And silence: no. Hence I'm with Riccardo, Nicola and Chris on this.
>Centre for Business Management,
>Queen Mary, University of London,
>Mile End Road,
>London E1 4NS,
>Tel: +44-(0)20-7882-5089 (direct); +44-(0)20-7882-3167 (Dept. Office)
>Fax: +44-(0)20-7882-3615

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