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Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
"We are certainly not Marxist socialists nor do we believe in violent revolution. Yet we do believe that it is better to revolt, to fight, as Castro did with his handful of men, he worked in the fields with the cane workers and thus gained them to his army--than to do nothing.
We are on the side of the revolution. We believe there must be new concepts of property, which is proper to man, and that the new concept is not so new. There is a Christian communism and a Christian capitalism as Peter Maurin pointed out. We believe in farming communes and cooperatives and will be happy to see how they work out in Cuba. We are in correspondence with friends in Cuba who will send us word as to what is happening in religious circles and in the schools. We have been invited to visit by a young woman who works in the National Library in Havana and we hope some time we will be able to go. We are happy to hear that all the young people who belong to the sodality of our Lady in the U. S. are praying for Cuba and we too join in prayer that the pruning of the mystical vine will enable it to bear much fruit. God Bless the priests and people of Cuba. God bless Castro and all those who are seeing Christ in the poor. God bless all those who are seeking the brotherhood of man because in loving their brothers they love God even though they deny Him."
Who wrote this? Well, she can not be named under the new ground rules of this site. But her followers are known by the sanctimonious air of martyrdom with which they vandalize US military installations.
A line jumps out:
Yet we do believe that it is better to revolt, to fight, as Castro did...than to do nothing.
So it is better to fight than to do nothing -- as long as the cause is radical utopianism.
Say, what are the headlines out of Cuba these days?
Wonder how these play with the Radical Philosophy Association, which plans a June conference on the island "in solidarity with the Cuban people, respectful of their social project as an independent nation."
A question for the radical philosophers: What of Cuban people who dissent from the 'social project' in which they are engaged?
The nice thing about being a radical philosopher in America is you're free to come and go and protest as you please.
In Cuba, you're not allowed to leave. If you're a dissident, you have the option of prison, or trying to escape by makeshift raft through shark-infested waters.
Not that this matters to the Radical Philosophy Association. Though you do have to question the commitment to free inquiry of an organization whose guiding light, one Cliff DuRand, is a Marxist apparatchik thoroughly in the tank of the Castro government. (Check out this report by Brian Becker of the Workers World Party and International ANSWER of a world Communist confab in Cuba that DuRand attended with fellow US delegate Stokely Carmichael.)
One marvels at the Stalinist brio of a supposed lover of truth who could deliver with a straight face a resolution like this:"We express our solidarity with the socialist revolution, the anti-imperialist struggle, and the self-determination of the Cuban people, especially during the present hardships of the Special Period."
On the recent 50th anniversary of the Soviet dictator's death, Johann Hari wrote in The Independent of the remarkable staying power on the Left of Stalin's legacy:
For evidence of this, we only have to look at the most popular Stalinist nation on earth: Cuba. Every time I write about this, I am inundated with letters from enraged (and no doubt perfectly nice) hippies explaining that Cuban communism is all about being nice to children and cuddling small puppies who resemble Lassie.
Yet Fidel Castro recently, for the billionth time, explained his beliefs, and they are not so benevolent. Stalin "showed great wisdom", explains the billionaire leader of a bitingly poor nation. He continues: "Stalin established unity in the Soviet Union [by suppressing ruthlessly all the surrounding nations, and, for example, deporting the entire population of Chechnya to Siberia, as Fidel doesn't add]. He consolidated what Lenin had begun: party unity [by butchering all his opponents]. He gave the international revolutionary movement a new impetus. The USSR's industrialisation [through forced labour] was one of Stalin's wisest actions."
Fidel runs his country on precisely the same lines as his hero. Amnesty International's latest reports detail the plight of the "prisoners of conscience" (otherwise known as democrats) and notes than even now, the number of people harassed "directly by the state", including "political dissidents, independent journalists and other activists", is increasing. It is worth remembering the name of just one victim of Fidel, plucked from among many: Bernardo Arevalo Padron has been festering in prison since 1997 because he called Fidel Castro "a liar" for failing (as ever) to stick to agreements on relaxing his authoritarian rule.
Yet still Tony Benn brags about the standards of the Cuban health-care system which, preposterously, he says are "better than America's". (If you are ever taken ill on a flight across the Atlantic, Tony, I suggest you test this by insisting on being flown to Havana rather than New York.) Still John Pilger describes the Cuban revolution as "a crucial model for challenging power". (For a man obsessed with hidden agendas, he very rarely discloses this agenda of his own.)
But the best remembrance of Uncle Joe on the anniversary of his passing came from The Onion, with this mock headline from 50 years ago: "Soviets mourn death of Stalin - 'Who will crush our spirits and destroy our lives now?' ask distraught citizens."