Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Missed last Saturday's Cuba discussion?

Have a watch at the introductory presentations...

In the first video, Brian Pollitt, drawing on experience inside Cuba and involvement in academic study of the Americas over the past 50 years, speaks about the challenges and successes of the Cuban Revolution. Brian is an SSP member and Secretary of Scottish Medical Aid for Cuba.

Dorothy Sharkey of Scottish Cuba Solidarity on the US. blockade, the Miami 5 and Solidarity Brigades. More information HERE

Kevin Carroll, from the Scottish Socialist Party and Scottish Cuba Solidarity, explains how he became interested in, and describes some of his visits to, Cuba.

Brian on Cuba HERE
Brian on "Che, the People's Revolutionary" HERE
Article on Che HERE Brian Pollitt comments on it:

It is acutely frustrating to read Che's concluding thoughts which are quoted so approvingly:

"...the plan as an economic decision by the masses, conscious of the peoples' interests.... The masses must decide which share of production will be assigned respectively to accumulation and consumption. Economic technique must operate within the limits of this information and the consciousness of the masses must ensure its implementation."

As an implicit critique of the "top down" Soviet model of planning this sounds all very well. But the Soviets, the Chinese and the Cubans all claimed to have a "top-down-top" planning system whereby the planners framed a draft plan which was taken down to "the masses" via the Party and in discussion with the Trade Unions, and then, accompanied by their critique, went back up again to be reformulated by the central planners. Whether and how this happened in practice is quite another matter but the difficulty with Che's formulations is that absolutely nothing concrete is said about how "the masses" make their wishes known; through what organised and representative fora do they make their decisions on accumulation versus consumption in the plan; and how does the masses "consciousness" ensure the implementation of their democratically expressed will? It all sounds fine but doesn't withstand close inspection as to its organisational meaning, does it?

No comments: