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SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE  October 2013

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE October 2013

Subject:

Re: Cuba

From:

Chandler Davis <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 5 Oct 2013 13:04:40 -0400

Content-Type:

MULTIPART/MIXED

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (189 lines)

Hey!  How did this discussion get side-tracked?  I thought
we were talking about the fate of the world, and instead,
here are three of us slanging each other on whether to
classify one existing society as "ecosocialist", "state
capitalist", or "deformed workers' state".  Could we back
up, please?  I want to hear why Carrol Cox thinks that
population growth will not contribute to difficulty in
finding enough food.  His position is counter-intuitive,
and maybe elaborating it would teach us something.

Chandler



On Sat, 5 Oct 2013, Thomas Smith wrote:

> 
> The ?procedure? of such a centrist liberal, in moving from the abstract from the concrete, is the totalitarian demand that everybody who wants to talk about
> ?old? theories better shut up!
> 
> Both Dwight MacDonald, and my late doctoral advisor, Marshall Berman, noticed this intolerance among the ?Liberal Center.?
> 
> The procedure employed by a genuine SCIENTIST is to ask, with an open mind, which theory is better able to account for concrete facts.
> 
> Can state capitalism?
> 
> If Cuba was never and in no way socialist, why the intense hatred of the Cuban revolution visited upon it by the imperialists, in the face of all sorts of dirty
> tricks, assassination attempts, etc. etc.?
> 
> And if Cuba has done nothing for ecosocialism, then how do you account for all the organic gardening going on there now? Can any city in the U.S. boast a similar
> development. We SHUT DOWN our urban farms, to make room for condos. We don?t promote it.
> 
> But the theory of the Cuban ?workers state? accounts for both its successes, its socialist achievements, and its treacherous, capitalist roading bureaucracy.
> 
> Schwartzman, if you have a better theory than that, than by all means, provide it.
> 
> Of if you can show how state capitalist theory overcomes the problems I?ve outlined, fine again.
> 
>  
> 
> But don?t tell me to shut up.
> 
>  
> 
> From: Science for the People Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Thomas Smith
> Sent: Saturday, October 5, 2013 12:18 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Cuba
> 
>  
> 
> The usual anti-intellectual rant from a liberal who doesn?t like theory, especially old ones.
> 
>  
> 
> From: Science for the People Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of David Schwartzman
> Sent: Saturday, October 5, 2013 12:13 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Cuba
> 
>  
> 
> We now have the reprise of the old debate among the Trotskyist camp between the state capitalist and the bureacratically deformed workers state viewpoints.
> Hasn't our conception of socialist transition moved somewhat from this rather old debate, ascending from the abstract to the concrete ?
> 
>  
> 
> On Sat, Oct 5, 2013 at 11:27 AM, Thomas Smith <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> We Trotskyists see Cuba as a bureaucratically deformed workers state, which, because of the collectivized social relations, has been able to do much for its
> people, including support for organic gardening. But whose bureaucracy is selling out the revolution to lead Cuba back to capitaiism.
> 
> It will take a workers political revolution against the bureaucracy to realize the promise of socialism. And that must involve promoting revolution in other
> Latin American societies.
> 
>  
> 
> From: Science for the People Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of David Schwartzman
> Sent: Saturday, October 5, 2013 11:24 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Cuba
> 
>  
> 
> Apparently your "trend" has very clear ideas about Cuba, on how pure socialism must be to qualify under your criteria. I rather see Cuba, given its extraordinary
> record of accomplishment in health, education, agroecology etc. under continuous aggression from US imperialism, as a living model of ecosocialist transition.
> All such transitions are bound to be mixtures of communism, socialism and state and small enterprise capitalism.
> 
>  
> 
> On Sat, Oct 5, 2013 at 11:05 AM, David Westman <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Cuba is a very good example of a fake "socialist" state which is really a revisionist state-capitalist one.    Our trend has written several articles examining
> the bogus socialism in Cuba, and the deforestation that you mention is just another aspect of why Cuba should not be held up as an example for socialism.   For a
> recent example of our work on Cuba, read "Privatization in the name of 'socialism'"  http://www.communistvoice.org/46cCuba.html
> 
> I also found an interesting two-part article on Cuba's Environmental Crisis by Gilberto Romero:
>         http://www2.fiu.edu/~fcf/enviromental.crisis.html     and
>         http://www2.fiu.edu/~fcf/env.crisis2.html
> 
> David Westman
> 
> On 10/5/2013 7:29 AM, David Schwartzman wrote:
>
>       I didn't claim what you are saying, that there are no ecological insights derived from the Marxist tradition, going back to Marx and Engels*, rather
>       that the record of 20th Century "socialism" (with the continuing exception of Cuba) did not include for the most part a strong positive ecological
>       dimension. Their destruction of the natural environment was analogous to capitalist countries, with Marx/Engels wisdom ignored, and ecological
>       movements largely marginalized.
> 
> * E.g., Marx's discussion of the break in the plant/humus cycle with industrial agriculture (Capital vol.1) and Engels in Dialectics of Nature
> (deforestation in Cuba).
> 
>  
> 
> On Sat, Oct 5, 2013 at 9:45 AM, David Westman <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> It is quite wrong to assume that an ecological approach to socialism is not part of a genuinely Marxist perspective.  Read the following articles:
>         "For a working class trend within the environmental movement, with a program opposed to the market measures
>         of establishment environmentalism"
>         http://www.communistvoice.org/48cEnvironmentalismPanel.html
>         "A review of John Bellamy Foster's 'Marx's Ecology':  Marx and Engels on protecting the environment"
>         http://www.communistvoice.org/40cMarx.html
> 
> David Westman
> 
> 
> 
> On 10/5/2013 5:52 AM, David Schwartzman wrote:
>
>       Solutions?   Ecosocialism is arguably the only viable socialism of the 21st Century because its vision includes a material structure informed
>       by the cutting edge sciences of climate (hence solarization of energy supplies and rapid curbs in carbon emissions), biogeochemistry/ ecology
>       (hence agroecologies replacing industrial/GMO agriculture, industrial ecologies). Socialisms just informed by political economy, derived from
>       the Marxist tradition,  that ignore the humanity/nature relations will fail. That is the lesson of 20th Century "socialisms" that some prefer
>       to call state capitalisms (I don't because all potential transitions out of capitalism are bound to be impure).
>
>       We all have opinions regarding "solutions", so lets put them out for debate and hopefully empower  movements to achieve them recognizing that
>       they  are always subject to revision and enrichment as they are being realized, a process that must include mass participation.
> 
>  
> 
> On Fri, Oct 4, 2013 at 9:23 PM, Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> I agree substantially -- but I myself never use the phrase, "the solution
> is." History isn't that neat. More democracy, which requires the overcoming
> of capitalism, has to be _the_ goal. One can't write recipes in advance for
> what a free people will decide. And between now and 'then' there will be
> great tumult & destruction: the world in which a socialist mass movement
> will come to power won't look much like today's world -- or like any world
> we can imagine with confidence.
> 
> Ten years ago could you have imagined anything remotely like the world
> revealed in today's headlines?
> 
> Carrol
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Science for the People Discussion List
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of David Schwartzman
> Sent: Friday, October 04, 2013 4:19 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: 7 insects you'll be eating in the (not too distant) future
> 
> I think that food shortages are real, but caused by war, elite corruption,
> climate change and of course capitalism. The solution in the short run is
> more democracy, more ecosocialism and less capitalism.  Global population
> growth is leveling out. If catastrophic climate change (C3) kicks in, global
> population levels will plunge with mass starvation and pandemics. If
> humanity succeeds in implementing a prevention program in time to avoid C3
> then population growth will slow down. A great source on this issue is Too
> Many People? by Ian Angus and Simon Butler..
> 
> 
> 
> On Fri, Oct 4, 2013 at 4:34 PM, Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> 
>         Population even now makes many difficult situations more difficult.
> It will
>         doubtless cause more difficulty in the future.
> 
>         But food shortages is not one of those difficulties, now or in the
> future.
> 
>         Carrol
> 
>  
>

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