Monday, October 27, 2014

The Brothers Castro have an ‘ah-ha!’ moment

The Brothers Castro have an 'ah-ha!' moment
10/26/2014 3:00 PM 10/26/2014 7:00 PM

The Story of Cuba, a book by Murat Halsted published in 1896, begins
with a prescient phrase: "The story of Cuba is a tragedy."

Tragedies often have a pivotal moment of revelation when a character
makes a critical discovery; a change from ignorance to knowledge.
Aristotle calls these moments, when we grasp things as they are,
"anagnorisis." Oedipus, the tragic hero of Greek mythology has his
anagnorisis when he learns that, in ignorance he has killed his father
and married his mother. Luke Skywalker has his when he realizes that
Darth Vader is his father.

Fidel Castro's public anagnorisis surfaced in 2010 when, in response to
a question by journalist Jeffrey Goldberg as to whether the Cuban model
was still something worth exporting, the Castro responded: "The Cuban
model doesn't even work for us anymore."

For his part Raul Castro — addressing Cuba's parliament in the "Year 50
of the Revolution" — reneged on the previous five decades proclaiming
that, "Equality is not egalitarianism." He then added that
egalitarianism is a form of exploitation of the hard working by the lazy.

It is clear that the delusion of Cuba as a nation engaged in a
transcendental historical endeavor of building a communist society is no
longer the national identity. The Castros and their governing
nomenclature lack a cohesive socioeconomic identity and seem to have no
national idea of whom or what they are, where they belong, or where they
want to go. Their objective is simply to remain in power.

Some totalitarian regimes, such as Cuba and the Soviet Union before it,
have relied on Marxism-Leninism as ideologies presumably imbued with a
higher construct of truth to create environments hermetically sealed
from outside information. These regimes, depicting themselves as an
expression of the absolute truth, have depended on fanaticism disguised
as social science to achieve political goals with abject disrespect for
personal freedoms.

In early Fidel Castro's Cuba, communist ideology conveyed and instructed
a sense of purpose that in some ways offered context and meaning to
freedom-deprived lives. In that Cuba, it was not tradition, or economic
success, or scientific greatness that served as the country's identity
anchor; it was the credibility of an ideology that imparted a sense of
destiny. Belief in the creed, and harsh repression produced in the
population acquiescence or resigned acceptance in the Platonic
formulation that "silence grants consent." Political loyalty was a
matter of fear as well as ideological faith.

In recent decades, the collapse of the Soviet Union, advances in
communication technologies and other factors have conspired to breach
the intellectual isolation required to sustain the mysticism of
Marxism-Leninism as the inevitable science of history. The magnitude of
the communist dystopia has become evident.

In Cuba today, the ideology that served as the country's identity and
sociopolitical glue has been abandoned even by the Communist Party. Over
time, Cuban communism has produced a profound disillusionment in the
population as well as in the ruling elite. Moreover, central tenets of
Marxist ideology such as abolition of private property and equality do
not lend themselves readily to doctrinal renovation as the Raul Castro
regime is pursuing with its "Perfecting Socialism" ideas.

As we witnessed with the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the
preservation of an ideology- based state becomes very tenuous when the
ideology is discredited. The declining ideological convictions of the
ruling elite diminish both their governing legitimacy and their
political will.

None of this is to suggest that the demise of a totalitarian regime is
imminent once it loses its ideology. Other outcomes are possible, but
ultimately Cubans will experience a shared anagnorisis and will realize
that the cure for what ails them is not external, but internal. They
will demand regime change and the replacement of central planning and
totalitarian rule with a market economy and democratic participation and
institutions. A prosperous future requires a national identity based on
the rule of law and not on ideological messianic leadership. Only then,
with a new identity anchored in freedom will a new historical era of
change come to the tragic island.


Source: The Brothers Castro have an 'ah-ha!' moment | The Miami Herald -

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