(OPE-L) a materialist analysis of the situation in Cuba

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Fri May 23 2003 - 07:01:50 EDT


Of course, there are moral issues under debate in relation to the
thread on Cuba.  Yet,  from a materialist perspective the precondition
for such a debate is a comprehension of the *facts* about the
situation in Cuba.  A debate that proceeds from a moral principle
yet doesn't attempt to systematically evaluate the empirical evidence
is both idealistic and futile.

Put in that perspective, all mention of moral principles in relation to
comprehending a specific historical development must  presume what
needs to be first comprehended:  the facts.

What you have claimed to be factual in this debate, e.g. the credentials
of the journalists,  is not convincing, imo (don't you think that any
agent can very easily obtain 'legitimate' press credentials?).  Look
at the Amnesty International report  ... and attempt to discover the details
... they're not there, imo.  Where's the beef?

What made the condemnation of Stalin (and Stalinism) legitimate was not
an abstract discussion about 'means and ends' and morality: it was a
comprehension of the actual crimes of Stalin and his associates.
The Marxist critics of Stalin, indeed, went to great pains to document
those crimes. This is because they attempted to develop a materialist
understanding of their period.  So should we.  Ironically, it is you,
imo, who is adopting in relation to the Cuban leadership the principle
that they are guilty until proven innocent.

In solidarity, Jerry

> have you read Koestler's book?  It is relevant to the debate not as a
> 'metaphore' but because the book develops a coherent (and brilliantly
> argued) moral position on the old revolutionary question of ends and
> It is with Koestler's moral position ON THIS QUESTION that Riccardo, Simon
> and I explicitly agree.  I suggest to you that the 'study of the facts' in
> the case of Cuba's recent actions (summary trial and execution, justified
> reference to external threat) is not separable from this moral debate.
> any 'serious exchange' must at least acknowledge (not necessarily agree
> with) our concerns.

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