Monday, March 25, 2013

The Unreality of a Slogan

The Unreality of a Slogan / Fernando Damaso
Posted on March 25, 2013

The slogan of the Cuban Workers Union (CTC) for their gathering to
celebrate May 1 is "United for a Prosperous and Sustainable Socialism."
It seems there are different types of socialism, and the one with which
we are familiar is that of the ration book, which is neither prosperous
nor sustainable. Furthermore, I believe that all the former socialist
countries — most notably the now defunct Soviet Union — have more or
less had a similar experience with it too, and in general have rejected
it. In spite of the difficulties and problems associated with the
transition to capitalism, none of them want a return to the former system.

To call for this new type of socialism after more than fifty years of
failed socialism is not only ridiculous, it is not even serious. Do the
CTC and its political and ideological directors really believe that
anyone will believe their new narrative? The unhappy experience of
poverty, lack of productivity, squandering of resources, poor services,
absence of freedom, impositions, restrictions and other tragedies that
Cubans have endured have made us deeply incredulous about the prospect
of a new luminous future within the next fifty years. The problem is
that those who are proposing this are the same ones who proposed it more
than fifty years ago, even though some of them have different faces. We
are not about to trip over the same stone twice. Once is quite enough.
And, besides, we have already paid and continue to pay a very high price
for it.

At any rate, with or without the slogan, the parades through the
different plazas will be massive, happy and colorful, as befits a
well-organized society — one sealed with signed promises and checklists
of accomplishments — in which civic inertia, fear, and concerns over
employment and education are common. Turnout will be high, though
privately most of the participants will care little about the celebration.

In short, the workers — "with all their material and spiritual needs
satisfied" — have only to applaud and give thanks to their government
and its leaders "for the goods they have received."

24 March 2013

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