Friday, April 15, 2016

The Castros' Party-State

The Castros' Party-State
ROBERTO ÁLVAREZ QUIÑONES | Los Ángeles | 15 Abr 2016 - 3:25 pm.

The phrase which best defines, in broad strokes, the Communist Party of
Cuba (PCC), which in the coming days will hold its VII Congress is the
celebrated quote by King Louis XIV of France: "L'Etat, c'est moi" ( "I
am the State.")

Such is the PCC, a party/state. In Mesopotamia and classical Greece,
millennia ago, there were city-states, such as Babylon and Athens. And
today they exist in the Vatican, and Monaco, but what is new is that
there are also party/states, so seldom studied that nobody talks about
it anywhere.

"No communist party in power is really a political party, unless it is
an opposition party in a country featuring a democratic system." Only
then does it take advantage of "idiotic parliamentarism," as Karl Marx
called it, and partisan pluralism, engages in politics, electoral work,
and sends representatives to Parliament, in full compliance with the law.

But Communist parties do not play fair. If they rise to power - almost
always by force, and not by universal suffrage - the first thing they do
is to suppress all political parties, except the Communists', and
establish an autocracy similar to those of Europe's absolutist
monarchies before the French Revolution. They automatically cease to be
a political party and supplant the state, assuming all its functions.

It was Niccolo Machiavelli, in his work The Prince (1513), who first
used the word "state" in its modern sense. Its first theoretician, he
called it stato, derived from the Latin term status. Today the most
widely accepted concept of the state is a set of institutions that have
the authority and power to establish rules governing a society.

And that is precisely what a communist party does. It proclaims itself
the holder of absolute truth (which Marx claimed to be non-existent) and
takes over all public powers, abolishes private property, seizes control
of the entire national economy, the armed forces, the media, education,
health, culture, and even citizens' private lives.

Let's take a look at the PCC. Created by Fidel Castro in 1965, in his
image and likeness, it is a massive state-administrative-ideological
paramilitary apparatus of a repressive nature, whose mission is to
maintain the people's "revolutionary loyalty" through iron-fisted social
control and intimidation, whether veiled or explicit, a constant barrage
of political-ideological propaganda, and the suppression of citizens'
basic rights.

Going further than fascism

By prohibiting private enterprise, Communist parties in power go even
further than fascism. The regimes headed by Mussolini, Hitler, Franco
and Oliveira Salazar placed the national economy at the service of the
fascist party-state's interests, but they di not abolish the private sector.

If something clearly reveals a communist party's status as a state
apparatus it is that its members do not gather at regional, provincial
or national forums to discuss new ideas or reach agreements, like
political parties do in the "normal" world, but rather at workplaces.

In Cuba members of the PCC meet in factories, companies, schools, shops,
hospitals, military units, theaters, construction sites, media
facilities, etc. There is a "Party core" at every workplace, where they
receive instructions to bully people and control and manage everything.

It is as if there were committees of the Democratic Party (now
controlling the US Executive) at every US factory, with orders from the
White House to oversee every business executive and tell them how to do
their jobs. Or as if the Popular Party in Spain did the same thing at
every workplace in the country.

Moreover, the CCP even violates the Leninist principle of "democratic
centralism," according to which the minority must obey and comply with
the decisions made by the majority of members. In Cuba, and in every
communist country, it is precisely the other way around, as most have to
obey, without question, what the dictator and a select group of
illuminati decide. It suffices to note that, with the VII Congress of
the CCP coming up, the Party's leadership did not even deign to inform
members of the points to be addressed and the documents to be examined
at the event – and far less to solicit their views.

All Communist leaders in power are autocratic despots, many of them with
as much personal power as that wielded by Caligula or Ivan the Terrible.
Let us recall five of the most notorious: Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse Tung,
Kim Il Sung, Fidel Castro and Pol Pot, earthly "deities" that aggravated
the systemic infeasibility of the communist model, spilling rivers of
blood and inflicting tragically suffering on their peoples.

In the case of Cuba, Fidel Castro's whims over his 52 years as head of
the CCP and dictator constitute an internationally unprecedented litany
of outrageous, idiotic, and reckless acts that sank Cubans further into
poverty, in a country that had enjoyed a standard of living higher than
that of some European countries before 1959. And to that we must add its
crimes and human rights violations.

The paradox here is that while the Castro party's ruling cadre is very
powerful, its base of members is not. They have neither the capacity nor
the instruments to question the mandates handed down from above by the
authorities, who control and threaten them, forcing them to toe the
line. The dictator and his team know that the average Joe in the party
has lost faith and no longer believes in fairy tales, scoffing at the
notion that "the future belongs to socialism."

They would burn their cards

Out of fear, which leads to social hypocrisy (double standards), the
members of the PCC do not confess this in their respective circles, but
the vast majority of them (some 720,000, in all) do not view themselves
as Marxists. Almost all of discuss with their families (in private) the
deep need for profound market reforms to unleash, once and for all, the
country's productive forces and attract massive foreign investment.

But the Castroist Party/State controls every sector of Cuban society.
The departmental and section heads in the bureaucratic apparatus of the
Central Committee are those in charge of the ministries and all the
directors of the central bodies. Foreign policy is not decided at the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but rather at the Central Committee's
Department of International Relations. And so it is with all the
Government's branches.

If you ask the average citizen the name of the president of the
Provincial Assembly of the Popular Power (equivalent to his governor),
he probably will not even know. But if you ask him the name of the first
secretary of the PCC in his province, or his municipality, he'll be able
to tell you. Because he's the one who calls the shots in the area.

Despite the PCC's high-handed control, the truth is that its base is
increasingly demoralized by the system's terminal crisis, and becoming a
hollow shell that could eventually disappear without a trace. If there
were radical changes in Cuba, the overwhelming majority of the party's
members would burn their membership cards without batting an eyelash.

But with the Castro brothers at the helm, the colossal and repressive
military power and party/state's leadership are institutionally fused.
Hence, there is little cause to believe that the VII Congress will yield
any substantial changes to improve Cubans' lives.

Source: The Castros' Party-State | Diario de Cuba -

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