Cuban Libertarian Movement
Another Cuba is possible
A response to Diego Farpon
The Movimiento Libertario Cubano responds to the attempt to justify the Castro regime on the basis of fraudulent interpretation of anarchist authors and proposals.
Diego Farpon, the notorious militant of the “Red current,” (in Spain) recently wrote, “Another world is possible: Cuba.” Originally published on the website, Kaos, (October 2005), it seems as though this was especially directed to persuade anarchists of their repeated errors, and has become widely noted.
For Diego Farpon there are two types of anarchists: the first are sectarian, dogmatic, Buddhists, and in addition to this, reinforce their ideological convictions through reading information from the Pentagon; while the second type – the “real” anarchists – have noticed with unequal lucidity that the Cuban government subscribes to libertarian communism; whether or not the government acknowledges this, nor shows any indication of it. In other words, the “true” anarchist thinks similarly to Diego Farpon, and must have a judicious, serene, and respectfully condescending attitude towards the Cuban government. Meanwhile everyone else must only be followers of exemplarily political scientists that allow the first type of anarchist to exist.
Let us leave Farpon’s description of the neoliberal scarp yard of the beneficiary State as a side note, and let us go on directly to the center of Farponian digression. Farpon begins with a ‘Bakunin-esque wink’: “According to Bakunin, the State is the negation of humanity, and he was not without reason.”
Farpon goes on to say that “Cuba is not a state of the old way, nor of the modern, because today like yesterday the state only served the interest of the dominant classes. Cuba is not like the rest of the states, where the most powerful are the beneficiaries of the system. Cuba has demonstrated that another type of state is possible: a state that defends the weak, the workers, the ones who need it. We are not confused: we need this type of state, not the traditional kind.” Farpon concludes by saying that “It is Cuba, as Guerin said, that contributed to the formation of a communist mentality, of an individual liberated from the mercantile economy. Bakunin, without a doubt, would take note of this contribution and would not throw stones against Cuba. Not to sink it at least.” Know this, anarchists, of here and now: if Bakunin were still alive, would he be affiliated with the Cuban Communist Party and would he abdicate his previous convictions or would he contemplate, quite perplexed, the first and most prodigious example of the statist logic?
It is significant to analyze Farpon’s statements with particular thoroughness. On one hand, it is important to recognize that, effectively, not all States are the same: there are large and small, traditional and modern, weak and powerful, bourgeoisies and “proletariat,” multi-racial, liberal, fascist, beneficiary, pastoral, bureaucratic, “democratic”, totalitarian, warmongering, neutral, monarchic, republican, lay, also integrist, etc., etc., It doesn’t reach, then, to localize the existence of a State or to know with certainty what political dynamic may be its intention. But it is possible to count with complete security, that whatever descriptive adjective of the State in question, we will be in the presence of a completely hierarchical structure, of a skewed distribution of power highly codified, and with a group of institutionalized positions of domination; this is all precisely within the very definition of the State.
It is because of this that serious revolutions can only be carried out, without any exception, from outside of the State, and they stop being revolutions when they are inextricably linked to it all the same.
Just as Diego Farpon points out, Bakunin was right with regard to the events of 1872, with the division of the first International; but what is more interesting to conclude is that those very reasons remain valid today. Only with great religious exaltation is it possible to maintain or even suggest that “Cuba has demonstrated that another state is possible;” as if to say that Cuba was some sort of lucky or magical State; a great exception in all of the exceptions produced; a territory of fables, myths and irrationalities where all of these concepts in their sublime moment were interrupted.
And, without a doubt, no matter how long faith waits for “revolutionary” ecstasy, the exceptions never fail to appear. The Cuban government, through the use of official propaganda, could continue insisting, in its fraudulent identification between the State, the people, the revolution and Fidel Castro, but that does not dim the necessity of critical thought in order to meticulously discern between each of these instances and the conditions in which they develop. The Cuban State can demonstrate a greater concern for it’s citizens than other governments with respect to healthcare, education, food and housing, but it would not be able to prevent the rashness of rigorous establishments for these basic necessities, nor the fact that when it comes to satisfying these needs, the dominant class receives much higher quantities and quality than do the rest of the population. The Cuban government will continue to go on about sovereignty, independence, and “national” dignity, but none of that will hide its phenomenal inefficiency on the matter, the existence of an old Soviet subsidy, or the current Venezuelan subsidy, or that a good part of its existence relies, among other things, on the currency remittances from foreigners, or by the government’s opening to the direct foreign investment that today is made up of over 392 transnational companies.
Diego Farpon will continue fantasizing about the things he wants to see in Cuba, and will regurgitate respect for Cuba with how it is an “example” and “model” that, has also made it “impossible to exploit the worker.” But none of this justifies the fact that Cuban workers are subject to laborious conditions, miserable salaries, and radical alienation with regard to production decisions. Perhaps Diego has ignored that the Cuban government has made one definitive and immodifiable choice in its hegemonic, buro-technocratic, militaristic and callous centralized planning in making alternative self-management detrimental? Diego Farpon will continue to suggest statements such as the following: “Cuba, of course, is not the aim, but it is a way to socialism. And at the moment, it is the only way that has proven to be viable.” Must we wait another 46 years, 9 months, four days and some hours only to capriciously confirm that the suggested path leads everywhere but to a socialist society? Or is it that the fervent and trusted Farpon will never take notice that there is no path of socialist development, especially not until “vanguardist,” party elitism, and statist strategies of repression and co-action are eradicated?
Diego Farpon does not notice in any given moment that, with regard to Cuba, it is necessary to recognize reality and not continue with a nostalgic exercise that invokes a revolution that forgets it’s original objectives and in place puts into power a misguided monopoly lost within statist labyrinths. How is it possible that he treats those who are “dogmatic” or “sectarian” critics with such profoundness but fails to do so with the very statist organization on who those critiques fall?
On our behalf, it is clear that we do not accept being trapped within the limitations of the State. We are not Buddhists, nor have we entrusted our future to the heads of the church: we are anarchists, and, precisely because of this, we are radically convinced that the Cuban revolution is not a cult object to mystify, nor do we identify it with the State structure. Instead, for us it is a social movement that must be recovered, and it is a gathering of passions that must be untangled starting today. We don’t believe in “commanders” nor in “leaders”; instead, we place our hopes in the autonomy of the most humble people, in organizations that freely know how to give themselves that emancipatory push. And, naturally, we don’t forget, that which worries Farpon, “the exterior pressure, the influence of the capitalist world and of the United States.” We know it very well, just as we know the interior erosion of the bureaucracy and its specific forms of capitalist exploitation. We do not want for Cuba the future of Romania, of Poland or Nicaragua, neither that of China, Vietnam or North Korea: what we do want is to transcend the wide channel of socialism united with the towns of Cuba and the rest of the world, and instead make this channel one and the same with liberation.