The Material Basis Of Joy / 14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar

Traditional celebrations called ‘parrandas’ that are normally held in December in Remedios, have been postponed this year until January 6-7. (DC)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 16 December 2016 — In the Marxist catechism it is established that the material is first, over the spiritual. From this conceptual Big Bang, is structured a doctrine in which all categories are concatenated more or less harmoniously; social property over the means of production, the fundamental law of socialist distribution, and the dictatorship of the proletariat.

From this key starting point it is explained that matrimonial fidelity is due to the appearance of private property, and that the ambition for riches will only be overcome in the human condition when material goods flow like a river due to the increased productivity that comes as a fruit of dominion over nature.

For the faithful followers of this form of thinking, joy in human beings is nothing more than the result of drinking alcoholic beverages in an environment where there is music and jokes, social contacts, smiles, cheers and laughter. That is, people do not drink, sing and laugh because they are happy, but the other way around.

At the end of December, Cubans usually indulge their desire to celebrate. Christmas and New Year’s come together to promote gift giving, Christmas Eve feasts, improvised choirs of nostalgic carols, resolutions for the future, furtive kisses at midnight, buckets of water thrown into the street to wash away the year’s evils, and taking a walk with a suitcase as an expression of the desire to take a magical trip to another part of the world.

With this cornucopia, joy prevails and bottles are uncorked, while others eat or dance and someone opens the door to receive the latest guest who didn’t want to miss the feast in which the discomfort of daily life is temporarily relegated to the background.

However, in these days that are left of the month of December, on the pretense of a tragic reason, from certain more or less official bodies, “the order has come down” to moderate the joy, postpone the parrandas, ban celebrations at workplaces and schools. Rumors are rife that alcohol will disappear as of the 20th, there will be no fireworks, and no loud music, not even within one’s own home.

Marxists are like that. They are intimately convinced that by eliminating or undermining “the material basis of joy” they can prevent joy from rising in hearts, crush feelings of gratitude for life itself, and smother the sparks of hope that light the way. At the end of the day, they maintain, the material is above the spiritual.