What does Centrism tell us at this stage in Cuba?

In international media corridors of certain academic degree rather than inside Cuba, some have tried to spread the idea that a democratic centrist current is developing in the national political sphere. The aim is, in principle, artificial; a theoretical construction that is supported by dissemination outlets that do not elaborate too much on its foundations, but in the package of symptoms that join together when it is about Cuba.  

From the strategic prospect with which conventional politics is handled today, not approaching the foundations, either your own ones or those of the adversary to defeat, is essential. This is the only way to enter into the so-called aestheticization of politics and make it an exercise of the trivialization of work for the improvement of society.

The current foundations of that artificial centrism are based on the so-called third political way, globally boasted by Tony Blair, though centered on five major points developed by sociologist Anthony Giddens, ideologist par excellence of this trend. The five points of Giddens are:

Dominance and implications of globalization

Trivialization of the meaning of left and right as political stances

Individualism as a framework for citizens’ goals

Degradation of all political mediations

Integration of ecological problems into social politics [1]

Its history dates much further back in time, when the European social democracy was looking for the most ethical solution, truly terrified by the progress of the revolutionary changes that left from the conceptions of Marx and Engels about the bourgeois state and that came true in the October Socialist Revolution, wise and ideologically led Lenin. So, the same way that Marx Weber proposed Protestantism as an option to the revolution encouraged by Marx, today’s third way seeks to rescue, with new pedigree, the contractual norms of capitalism, especially through the system of Political Parties that legitimizes class dominance, by means of a system self-called democratic par excellence.

Resorting to it today means that we acknowledge the dead end of the reforms made by global capitalism (for example, the so-called Welfare State or the economic projections by Keynes or Stiglitz), but we turn to the utopia of a better society through the same capitalism, which predates the world’s resources, the possibilities of economy (large consortiums increasingly concentrate ownership and industry) [2] and the exercise of political power (mediated by those same business monopolies). From the third way some try, above all, to discredit the possibility of changing the global political domination order that is based on the capital reproduction. Bourgeois state and concentrated capital reproduction are closely linked and dependent. Thus, they seek to neutralize any revolutionary possibility and guarantee the permanence of the social contract with the citizens. It is assumed, therefore, that class difference is inevitable and that society welcomes the most capable for adaptation. Socialism, for its part, proposes the disappearance of the state as the starting point for the new society, which would leave the contemporary property concept essenceless.

The focal points in successful individualism are in fact exceptional cases, as it is done with the legends of certain individuals who, thanks to the results of their professional management, have embarked on the path of capital concentration until they become millionaires with a lot of media follow-up and show business. Whether they are software programmers, artists or traders of cultural goods, they need to put into action what Meszaros called the social metabolism of capital. [3] Napoleon used to harangue his troop, assuring the soldiers that each of them had marshal's staff at his waist; he only had to win it in the battle. His soldiers won many battles, but, by the way, none of them carried the marshal’s staff. In short, it is a process of symbolic manipulation of the individual’s desires. Propaganda and consumption establish themselves as a goal of personal fulfilment to achieve that package of hopes that the cultural framework itself has sown through the pragmatic foundations of education.

Finally, the ecological plans, when they exist, respond to written regulations that varnish business predation and the indiscriminate extraction of the planet’s resources. Capitalism proposes it this way out of systemic necessity, so it is impossible to stop it with a package of regulations that ultimately fail. Trump’s Machiavellian idea to withdraw from the 2015 Paris Agreement reveals, against the flow, the hypocrisy of this stance.

In Cuba, as if it weren’t enough, the tradition of social democratic ideas is almost null; [4] at present, these ideas have been assumed by some activists (most of them not very clear of their theoretical legacy or simply unfamiliar with their foundations) and some other intellectual who seek a less radical way to face the revolutionary change. The counterrevolution has in Cuba an outrageously ridiculous number of sympathizers and even a smaller number of people tempted to follow it. Centrist behaviors, in their huge majority, respond to Giddens’s third point, that is, they look for the solution to the problems individually. In concrete and in the ordinary Cuban way: I solve my thing and the rest have to strive for theirs.

Finally, the third-way tendencies that try to sneak into Cuba are linked to the tendencies of alternative socialism raised by the counterrevolution of the 20th century Cold War, in other words, the subversion that is camouflaged from the real socialist doctrine to gain sympathy among the revolutionaries themselves. Its dissemination passes through the financing coming from the US Treasury Department for what they call the program of democracy reinstatement on the island.In this extent, the resumption of diplomatic relations between Cuba and U.S. seeks the clear purpose of progressing in objectives unfulfilled by the economic blockade and media siege. This is what Obama said clearly, trying to achieve a post comeback to the good neighbor policy, together with the fashion carrot one and technological dazzling and, above all, looking for some reduction of the millions they get from US taxpayers with that goal.

Hence, the thought allied to democratic centrism has no other choice than to agree with Plattism. And Plattism is actually the contractual acceptance of US dominance and interference. Hence, moreover, that centrist thought is so aggressive with the Cuban revolutionary process –to the point of diagnosing as failure what is indisputable merit and socio-cultural gain– and chooses complicit silence in the face of the manipulation of points of open confrontation underlying the historical foundations of Cuban thought, according to black propaganda patterns.

The permanence of the economic, commercial and financial blockade, overwhelmingly condemned in the UN Assembly for successive years, is the fundamental example of this behavior, since it is often said that the blockade is a pretext and not the cause of most of the shortcomings of ordinary Cubans, such as access to a normal Internet connection, just to mention one example of its negative effects. The illegal existence of the Guantanamo Naval Base, fruit of the Platt Amendment [5], is yet another point this tendency tends to trivialize beforehand, turning its freshened Plattism into cynical indifference.

The sole idea of ​​democratic centrism reveals its character of artificial construction and propaganda, with which the cold postwar subversion seeks to gain further time to return to Cubans the perception that capitalist hegemony is inevitable and, therefore, is necessary to resort to a "lesser evil". Curiously ironic, because from that stance some attack the measures of mixed economy that the updating of the economic model puts into practice, calling them centrists, while at the same time they criticize the rules for regularization and control, calling them backwardness and excessive exercise of political power.

This centrism, tropical and immediate, laboriously sneaked among the youngest sector, and consistent with its aim to return to the Political Parties system, shows itself as an electoral program attempt rather than a social platform of some future prospect, at least if it depends on its own precepts and not on some external force that places it "above society", as in the bourgeois state. One of the proofs of this is to see the scope of their arguments in the manipulation of symptoms, that is, their way of diagnosing the shortcomings and needs of Cuban society.

The consensus of conceptual judgment reached by centrism is prior to the fact itself, which does not harmonize in any way with the balance, which its theories allude to. Once again said in the ordinary Cuban way: the same old thing; although, of course, with sources that are not very clear, relatively generous funding, and a new technological appearance.

 

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi Translation Staff

 

Taken from La Jiribilla

[1] V. Anthony Giddens: The Third Way: The Renewal of Social Democracy, Cambridge, 1998 / La tercera vía. La renovación de la socialdemocracia. Traducción: Pedro Cifuentes Huertas, Santillana S. A., 1999, ISBN: 968-10-0797-7.

[2] Véase, por ejemplo, como apenas dos Consorcios comerciales son dueños de la mayor producción editorial del Planeta en español: Jorge Ángel Hernández: “Consorcios comerciales en la industria del Libro”, Cubaliteraria, Semiosis (en plural), http://www.cubaliteraria.cu/articuloc.php?idarticulo=19848&idcolumna=29

[3] Iztván Mészáros: El desafío y la carga del tiempo histórico. El socialismo en el siglo XXI, Traducción de Eduardo Gasea, Anayansi Jiménez y Gladys Sanz, Vadell Hnos. Editores C.A., Caracas, 2008, 427 pp. ISBN: 978-980-212-465-7.

[4] Véase Elier Ramírez Cañedo: “La tercera vía o el centrismo político en Cuba”, en Cubahora, 29/05/2017 http://www.cubahora.cu/politica/la-tercera-via-o-centrismo-politico-en-cuba

[5] La Enmienda Platt es un apéndice al proyecto de Ley de los Presupuestos del Ejército aprobado por el Congreso de Estados Unidos, e impuesto como parte del texto de la primera Constitución de la República de Cuba, elaborada por la Asamblea Constituyente de 1901, bajo la amenaza de que si no la aceptaba, Cuba seguiría ocupada militarmente. Véase más en EcuRed, https://www.ecured.cu/Enmienda_Platt

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