14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 26 February 2021 — Many find it hard to believe, or understand, how it is possible that the ideas of such cool and sexy thinkers as Marx and Engels can be used to justify such decadent (cheas) attitudes as repressing young creators, holding rallies of repudiation or prohibiting the free exercise of professional activities and the independent dissemination of information and opinions in journalism.
Where does the deep justification come from; to what philosophical concept can be anchored the unbridled repression whose most “subtle and sophisticated” expression is articulated in national television programs where those who think differently are grossly denigrated, without the right to reply?
In the most elementary courses on Marxism-Leninism, after studying the three fundamental laws of dialectics, one learns that in society there are antagonistic contradictions that can only be solved through the violence that generates a revolution.
According to that dogma, an antagonistic contradiction is only resolved when one of the contenders achieves the extermination or annulment of the adversary.
It should be noted that in the original texts of Marx or Engels this apothegm is not found, not as it appears in the previous paragraph. Dialectics of Nature was an unfinished work of Engels that only saw the light in 1925 when it was edited by the academics of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, right in Stalin’s time. It was they who systematized, in order to simplify them into manuals, Engels’ philosophical sketches scattered in notes and complementary notes.
Three years later, forced cooperativization took place in the USSR, and it is no coincidence that that horror, which gave continuity to the “red terror” implemented by Lenin, appeared later in the hackneyed manuals as an example of a solution to an antagonistic contradiction, whose purpose was the definitive extermination of the kulaks. Many of these texts are available today on the Internet.
The decision of a small group of people to implement a socialist system in Cuba was in contradiction with the existence of private owners of the fundamental means of production. In less than a decade the owners were dispossessed by violence, and those who resisted ended up in exile, were imprisoned or died in combat.
The owners disappeared but socialism did not appear. At least its fundamental laws of “satisfying the ever-growing needs of the population” and “eradicating the exploitation of man by man” were not fulfilled.
Such plundering to exterminate the antagonistic owner was of no worth. The “blood spilled on the sands of Playa Girón [the Bay of Pigs] to repel the bourgeoisie who came to recover what had been confiscated” was worthless; the militiamen in the Escambray Mountains killing peasants who had risen up because their lands had been taken away from them were worthless.
All those supposed victories ended in an economic defeat because the socialism of the books failed to establish itself as a system in reality, and finally the rules of the market had to be recognized. It was also an ideological defeat because the desire of Cubans to be owners and to express themselves freely never disappeared.
In present times, this is the most acute contradiction that comes to the surface. It is no longer the one, artificially sustained under the concept of class struggle, which was solved in the material sphere by confiscating properties. What the Government is trying to do now is to put a brake on those who promote the proposal to expand the productive forces against the backdrop of maintaining a planned economy as the last redoubt of the frustrated “socialism.”
The “philosophical question” is whether this is an antagonistic contradiction and whether the idea of the extermination of the opponent as the only solution to antagonism is still valid.
Those who aspire to change things in Cuba, who are the most dynamic element of this contradiction, are divided between those who aspire to the violent overthrow of the dictatorship and those who believe in a gradual, bloodless change, the result of a dialogue.
The bad news is that the only thing that those in charge in Cuba understand is that they must annihilate their counterparts, radicals and moderates, put without distinction in the same bag, because they see in each and every one of them their future exterminators. In order to put into practice what they have learned in theory, they are willing to limit, with all available violence, the freedom of expression of their citizens, interpreting that any discrepancy should be considered as complicity with imperialism.
It is a task for the present and for the future to answer the question of whether Marxism was perverted by politicians or whether all this theoretical scaffolding constitutes a perversion of thought.
Beyond this subtlety of a definition of contradictions, the fruit of the subversion of Hegel’s dialectic, it is easy to find in Marx unfounded statements such as the belief that by implementing the dictatorship of the proletariat not only would the class struggle end, which would result in the disappearance of the State, but also that the aspiration to be owners would be erased from the minds of men, and all this he deduced from his study of the 72 days that the Paris Commune lasted.
The saddest thing is that, possibly behind the repression that subjugates Cubans in the 21st century, there are not even vestiges of elevated thought that can be considered the force of reason, but simple ambition for power backed by the reason of force.
Translated by: Hombre de Paz
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