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    ‘Anti-Capitalism’ That Falls Short

    'Anti-Capitalism' That Falls Short

    October 1, 2012

    "Scratch an extremist and you will find an opportunist" — V.I. Lenin

    Pedro Campos

    HAVANA TIMES — The little expression "anti-capitalist" is very much in

    vogue today "We're anti-capitalists." Our position is "anti-capitalist."

    Our revolutionary program is "anti-capitalist." "Down with the

    capitalist enemy." "Death to the capitalists." This is how many people

    express themselves. Yet reading and listening to some of these

    "anti-capitalists," I'm amazed to find that they defend state capitalism.

    Don't ask for names. More than once I have explained: the ideas must be

    fought, not individuals.

    What falls short in this "anti-capitalism" — which doesn't extend to the

    operation of the Cuban government — are the people who dare to accuse

    those of us who criticize state capitalism as being in league with the

    "imperialist enemy" or favoring "capitalist restoration." What nonsense!

    Those of us who hold socialist positions are ideologically and

    politically confronting the state capitalism that exists in Cuba, though

    concealed as "state socialism." Precisely what we seek is to transform

    this state capitalism" into a more participatory and democratic

    socialism, where the workers and the people are those who decide how to

    reproduce their lives and all the laws that affect them, while

    preventing the restoration of the old regime of exploitation by private

    capitalists, imperialist corporations, and Creole land owners and

    oligarchs – as occurred everywhere that "state socialism" was attempted.

    In the specific case of Cuba, as we have reiterated, such restoration

    would lead to neocolonial dependency, which would be nothing less than

    our real or virtual annexation to the northern giant, which wants us as

    an unconditional ally and yet despises us.

    The advocates of state capitalism don't know that they're working for

    annexation in the long run.

    Our positions are reflected in our programs, proposals and actions.

    Whether people are unfamiliar with them or have class limitations for

    understanding them is another matter; workers who are exploited under

    wage-labor statism will understand this quickly and well. This is why

    some bureaucrat said to be careful with these ideas of "autogestion" or

    self-management because they're like cocaine, addictive.

    Many of us have already had our anti capitalism and our anti-imperialism

    put to the test in direct confrontation against their forces in the

    countries and cities of imperialism itself. This is unlike some of those

    "pro-state capitalist 'anti-capitalists,'" dedicated to defending it,

    without rhyme or reason, from their positions within the state, with the

    people's resources, enjoying all types of media perks and privileges –

    with all of this having been done in the name of "socialism and the

    working class."

    "Socialism" learned by rote

    Indeed, as Professor Jorge Luis Acanda has pointed out, the

    "prostitution of language" has led quite a few journalists,

    intellectuals, politicians, activists and "leaders" to employ the terms

    of political economy without the slightest attachment to their content

    as historically recognized by socialists.

    They call something "socialism" that has never been socialist; they

    consider something to have been a "social revolution" when it was only a

    political revolution; they consider "the enemy" to be anyone who doesn't

    think like them; they confuse "social revolution" with the government, a

    party and the state.

    All of this confusion — introduced into the language of the social

    sciences by the neo-Stalinists — is in part what has led such

    "anti-capitalists" to be supporters of state capitalism and defend it to

    the hilt, with their eyes closed and fangs bared, like bloodthirsty

    zombies, without the least consideration, without knowing or

    investigating the essences of the positions they call "contaminated,"

    with no idea of who they're accusing.

    Clearly… the problem is that they never linked capitalism with wages.

    When they studied capitalism in college (if they studied capitalism),

    nobody told them that capitalism is a social relation of production

    linked to wage-labor exploitation. And if they ever had Capital in their

    hands, it was for reading excerpts under the guidance of their teacher.

    For these "anti-capitalists," capitalism is evil and exploitative,

    because that's what they've heard ever since when that were kids. They

    never knew why. They simply believe that "capitalism is evil because

    it's evil; therefore anyone who looks like they're defending something

    that has to do with capitalism is my enemy." From this, they end up

    viewing almost all of humanity living under capitalist regimes as being

    the enemy.

    Knee-jerk tendencies

    Because of that same ignorance, a guard at the Presidio Modelo Prison in

    the era of the Batista dictatorship allowed the prisoners to read

    Capital, thinking it was a work in support of capitalism. Extremes meet.

    Such "anti-capitalists" don't differentiate between democratic,

    authoritarian or fascist capitalists. To these people, all of them are

    enemies just the same.

    It was because of this that the alliance between the socialists and the

    democrats was rejected and that the policies of the Comintern under

    Stalin helped Hitler come to power in Germany. It was because of an

    underestimation of the strength of the democrats and maintaining his

    alliance with the neo-Stalinist conservative-hounds of state capitalism

    in the USSR that Gorbachev ended up being the victim of a coup by his

    "comrades" on the Politburo.

    Those who delve into history only to know what happened, without

    recognizing the lessons of the past for the present, can contribute much

    to the knowledge of the past, but little to the development of the

    present and the future.

    We have "anti-capitalists" who are so "anti-capitalist" that they reject

    everything that comes from capitalism (except for its sophisticated

    products, which they consume and enjoy to the utmost, thanks to the

    perks provided by state capitalism). But for them, the human values that

    led to the triumph of capitalism over feudalism "have no validity under

    socialism." They see capitalism— and socialism as well — as having

    landed on the earth in alien spacecraft (complete with ETs), and having

    nothing to do with what previously existed.

    They don't know, never knew, never wanted to know, nor was it of any

    interest to the neo-Stalinists, whether productive forces and production

    relations of socialism and its values had been developing within the

    capitalist core.

    Struggling to maintain special privilege

    How long will this infantile disorder of the left continue? How long

    will these senseless insults go on, these accusations of collusion with

    the imperialist enemy? How long are some of these people going to keep

    on disrespecting differences, even "pro-capitalist" positions, though

    they don't share them?

    How long are they going to continue considering the term "democracy"

    exclusively as the political system of the bourgeoisie? How long are

    they going to consider human rights and democratic values achieved by

    the humanist struggles over the ages to be bourgeois?

    Could it be that the bureaucracy that controls state capitalism and its

    means of production and distribution is well served by this prostitution

    of language in that it allows them to continue trying to confuse the

    workers with their "socialism" that never was? Do they really want

    socialism to be an economic and political model that is rejected by the

    workers and people in general?

    Everyone makes their own judgments. It's true that there's much

    confusion and ignorance, but what's apparent in some of these

    "anti-capitalist" extremists is the most vulgar opportunism.


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