RE: [OPE] Socialism in Cuba and Scandanavian social democracy

Date: Sun Jun 29 2008 - 09:33:11 EDT

> This is a defence of the violent way to Socialism and the alleged 
> extraordinary role of one man, Fidel Castro. Have we learnt something 
> from the Soviet experience?
What we should have learned, not just from the Soviet experience but
from all of modern history, is that the capitalist class will not voluntarily 
hand over power to workers without a fight. That was a lesson that Harnecker
learned: after all, she lived through what happened along the
path to the "peaceful road to socialism" in Chile. 
There are many people which are "extraordinary". To think that a single 
individual is incapable of affecting history is the worst kind of 
mechanistic and deterministic Marxism.  
> It is a pity that socialists have not arrived to a consensus on this matter.
Agreed - reformism should have been rejected by socialists as
far back as the 19th Century. The demise of the Meidner Plan in 
Sweden is yet another example of what happens when a legislative path to
socialism alone is followed. The capitalist class in Sweden did 
exactly what Marx would have predicted  - they forced the withdrawal 
of the plan.
I guess in _your_ world the ruling class can be expected to give up 
without a fight.  That's not the world _I_ live in or the world Castro 
lives in.  Had the Cubans not been vigilant for sabotage, then the 
Bay of Pigs and a counter-revolution might have been successful and there
would have been another bloodbath - probably one that would have
made what happened on and after September 11, 1973 in Chile look like
a minor incident. Happily, the Bolivarian revolutionaries in Venezuela 
have made it clear that they will, if necessary, fight to preserve and 
extend their gains and prevent international imperialism and the 
corrupt oligarchy that had owned and plundered the wealth of that nation 
from derailing the revolution. A positive sign there is that workers
and peasants in poor communities have been armed (and armed 
intellectually as well with the creation of a much more extensive 
college system that it open to all).  After the failed coup,
and the continuing provocations by the US and the reactionary and
privileged domestic elite, this was a necessary and logical step.
In solidarity, Jerry

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