Category Archives: The Americas

The Myth of Haiti as a Paradise under French Colonial Rule

Superb comment by Judith Mirville. This is one myth that so needs to die.

First of all, please never say again that platitude as to Haiti (or rather, Santo Domingo as it was then called) having been so prosperous and so sweet to live in under French rule, just before the revolted slaves turned it over into the hell-hole we know of nowadays.

Please keep in mind that Santo Domingo was definitely the harshest place for any black slave (and also for any white servant or prostitute) to end up in throughout all Middle Passage, it was the island with the shortest survival span for Negroes. It was actually a kind of extermination camp though accelerated exhaustion where negroes judged to non-docile to be sold to English American planters or to Portuguese Jews (Jews were indeed involved in slave trade and utilization in the Portuguese colonies — contrary to English American where they kept content with the financing of the antebellum Southern enterprises — but were also known to be more humane masters) were sold to a kind of buyer of last resort.

When the slave masters of Early Dixieland really wanted to scare recalcitrant manpower into submission and productivity, they threatened to sell them to Santo Domingo and made an example out of two or three. It was called the “Pearl of the Indies” not because of its enchanting setting, charming though it was then, but because of the highest and surest return shareholders in Europe expected from there, the best contemporary translation would be Blue Chip.

The revolution took place because those slaves knew they were in that Island to die anyway.

It took exactly twelve years and a quarter to unfold, from 14 August 1791 to 18 November 1803, and as it unfolded the Napoleonic regime ordered Final Solution (as it was called) through 100% extermination. About one twentieth survived. Among the favorite methods were the “pontoons” : decommissioned ships used as gas chambers : the hulks were filled up to the brim with prisoners to be killed with fumes emanating from burning sulfur and thrown into the sea so as to make room for another cargo.

France sacrificed her whole colonial empire in America, selling Louisiana to the Jefferson’s US among others, just to devote all the necessary logistical resources to that grisly enterprise as if it were her most sacred duty (Napoleon wanted to make his empire renowned for yet another thousand years repeating Crassus’ exploit against the revolt of Spartacus), and it failed.

The extermination camp had run so well that all tropical diseases and pests brought about by the authorities to make the place mortal for any fugitive or guerrilla ended up killing all the precious seaworthy French troops that were sent there too, and that would have been badly needed at Trafalgar (the voodoo legend also speaks of black magic used to that effect: given the fact that most of Haitian black magic is about poisons, this comes to no contradiction).

Lamenting the French regime in Haiti as a kind of prosperity never to dream on any more is tantamount to lamenting the good old days when Warsaw, Krakow and Auschwitz were German and under sound industrial management before entering the doldrums of East European post-war Communism.

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Judith Mirville on the Perils of Braziliafication for the Jews

Very nice comment from Judith Mirville showing that if Jews are promoting Braziliafication in the hopes that it will be good for the Jews, they may be sorely mistaken.

That will prove to be an especially bad move: in a Brazilified society such as Brazil, the various cultures of that multiculturalism cannot agree together safe onto one point: the Jews are the main responsible for the present state of affairs, even people such as the Japanese of Belo Horizonte, the German of Porto Alegre, the Negroes from Bahia and the White Trash rednecks of the chaparral of Sertão can agree on that.

I am now practicing Portuguese, listening to various videos to study various local accents and slangs, and everybody is inveighing against Jews each one for their different reasons.

The Negroes accuse them of having organized the slave trade, which in the specific case of Northern Brazil was true. The rednecks of Sertão accuse them of having geared the whole musical culture of Brazil towards hedonistic and then gay values.

The well-to-do Portuguese of São Paulo accuse them of having subverted the monarchy to install a de facto British colonialism in the form of a Republic as well destroying the military regime which was the last rampart against the tide of Cultural Leftism everywhere in the intelligentsia. The Germans there are of a type that was never morally bullied into repentance for WWII.

And the Japanese, though not big haters of Jews, all want them to be put back into ghettos for practical reasons and accuse them of having organized the whole of Western colonialism in non-White countries and robbed Asia of its traditional technological superiority and intelligence by programming so many other Whites beyond their real innate capacity to feel inventive and superior.

It comes to no mystery that cultures in an multicultural environment tend identify with their most reactionary elements, and therefore are more inclined to look for a culprit or archetypal symbol of evil from without. And it turns out that in Brazil the most rabid antisemitic movements are decidedly multicultural chic, not White Power, especially since the traditional White racism of Brazil claimed that the core of the nation was made up of mythical Jewish ancestry.

The Extreme Left to Center Left culture that still refuses most the conspiracy-justified antisemitism is monocultural non-Catholic Portuguese (mildly anti-Black de facto, though praising mulatto women for their supernatural beauty but only in their own role of providers of sentimental entertainment), and they are the ones who communicate the least with other cultures in their own country and prefer to communicate with other White nations in the world (France for the culture, the Anglo-Saxon countries for business) than with their own co-nationals of different hues.

All great antisemitic bouts of the past started out in rather multicultural environments. Austria, for instance, used to be the most multicultural part of Europe, and further back in time, you can find Spain and Portugal, which at one time used to be the most diversified countries: in both cases, mythical antisemitism could develop unchecked for being the only political language common to so many diverse groups even though not the ideal one to that many individuals.

How do the Jews let that happen to the point of loving it as it may seem?

That is very simple: first, as you put it, their intelligence is grossly overrated. They are emotion-driven more than many others. It must also be known that Jewish identification with the intellectual superiority of openness of mind is a very recent and atypical thing in the course of history. That identification began only as a byproduct of the Enlightenment culture and only among Jews that wanted to get free of their traditional ghetto culture, which turned out into a majority at a certain point.

Before that point, intellectual curiosity was far more severely repressed in Jewish culture than in Christian culture, the rabbis had far more tolerance of and liking for magic: even the study of too much geography was deemed dangerous. The general morality among them used to be that one must as an individual make plans for the day, as a family for the week, and as a Jewish community for the year, but NEVER beyond, since all promises of the preceding years were to be overridden at each Rosh ha Shanna. What is good for Jewish prosperity this year only is the real good, the rest is goyish daydreaming.

Even if the consequences of what is done this year are evidently ultra-negative for your own descendants, such as destroying the environment or installing a future millennial totalitarian regime just to make sure your tiny few talents are employed and well-paid, that is none of your business as a Jew. You must think of those descendants as of imaginary non-Jewish beings.

When for instance you adopt Communism as a Jew, the important thing is to enjoy a higher life through it and also a good relationship with many non-Jews for a few years’ space at most. You must not inquire too seriously about the ultimate consequences of your ideological choice. It is a fashion among many others to have to dress your own brain and others as well as their bodies according to a taste that sells right now.

If it turns out that by so doing you will progressively install a Nazi-like regime first courting and then turning against you, so be it, que sera sera, that was God’s intention for you to bring it about. It is a culture based on the principle of pure prostitution and on the faith that such an attitude alone can bring about joyful survival to a group: they are actually not so racist towards strangers provided they share that very same mentality.

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“From Andalusia to Far West Texas,” by Alpha Unit

The wild ancestor of modern cattle is the aurochs. This nearly seven-foot-tall beast ranged throughout North Africa and Eurasia. Domestication occurred independently in Africa, the Near East, and the Indian subcontinent between 10,000 and 8,000 years ago. Humans have been raising cattle for their milk, meat, tallow, and hides ever since.

But the practice of raising large herds of livestock on extensive grazing lands didn’t begin until around 1000 CE, in Spain and Portugal. Cattle ranching, in particular, was unique to medieval Spain.

During the Spanish Reconquista, members of the Spanish nobility and various military orders received grants to large tracts of land that the Kingdom of Castile had conquered from the Moors. Pastoralists found that open-range breeding of sheep and cattle was most suitable for these vast areas of Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura, and Andalusia.

It was in Andalusia that cattle ranching took hold, with cattlemen owning herds as large as 1,000 head or more. Those cattlemen oversaw the first cattle drives. Cattle could be driven overland as much as 400 miles from summer pastures in the North to winter ones in Andalusia. The vaqueros who herded the cattle were freemen hired for the year and paid in coin or in calves.

Andalusian ranchers introduced the use of horses in managing cattle – a necessity in the long overland drives to new pastures. They also established the customs of branding and ear-marking cattle to denote ownership. By the time Columbus left Spain on his first voyage, the cattle industry of Andalusia had undergone a few centuries of trial-and-error improvement. On his second voyage Columbus unloaded some stallions, mares, and cattle on the island of Hispaniola, introducing cattle to the New World.

Conquistadors who arrived in the New World in search of gold continued what Columbus began, turning Andalusian cattle loose throughout the Spanish West Indies and other parts of Spain’s colonial empire.

In 1521 Gregorio de Villalobos defied a law prohibiting cattle trading in Mexico and left Santo Domingo for Veracruz with several cows and a bull, importing the first herd of Spanish cattle to Mexico. Hernán Cortés brought horses and cattle to Mexico as well, and by 1540 Spanish cattle are permanently in North America.

Cortés had set about using enslaved Aztecs to herd cattle. Slave labor to herd cattle was overseen mostly by Spanish missions, which came to dominate ranching. Under Spanish law no Indian slave was permitted to ride horses, but this obviously impractical law was ignored. Aztec Indians became the first vaqueros of New Spain (Mexico), where conditions for raising cattle were even better than those in the West Indies.

By the 1600s there weren’t as many Native slaves, as thousands had died over time from exposure to smallpox, measles, and yellow fever, in outbreaks that began among the Spaniards and to which Natives had no immunity. As a result, the vaquero labor force came to include mission Indian converts, African slaves, and mestizos.

New Spain’s borders spread northward into what is now the US Southwest. The sparsely populated northern frontier regions of northern Mexico, Texas, and California didn’t have enough water for farming but the climate and acres of wild grass and other vegetation made them ideal for cattle ranching. Cattle and horses were now a feature of American life and were beginning to shape American identity.

Beginning in the 1820s, Anglo settlers moved to the Texas region of Mexico in search of inexpensive land. Texas was severely underpopulated, so Mexico had enacted the General Colonization Law of 1824, permitting immigration to all heads of households regardless of race, religion, or immigrant status. Anglo Texans were largely farmers and didn’t warm initially to the Spanish-Mexican concept of large-scale ranching. But ranching became popular among Anglos after immigration agents began promoting it. Texas cattle were so plentiful and cheap that most people could begin raising livestock without a large investment.

Anglo Texan cowhands and their counterparts throughout the US were the latest incarnation of the vaquero that got his start in southern Spain. The vaquero rides on, whether he’s Native, mestizo, Black, Hispano, or Anglo.

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The Chukchi – A Glimpse into An Ancient Past?

Mike: Are the Chukchi actually Paleomongoloids?

Actually, I believe that they are Ancient NE Asians. This race lived from 10-20,000 YBP and gave strong inputs to NE Asians and also most Caucasians, even Europeans. The race seemed to have characteristics similar to what a precursor to the Caucasian and NE Asian races would look like.

The bizarre thing about Chukchis is that on autosomal DNA charts, they are actually all the way over into the Caucasian square! Just barely, but they are there all right. I tell this to people, and they flip out and say, “But they look Asian!” Indeed they do. It is with races like the Chukchis where racial terms like “Caucasian” and “Asian” lose their meaning. I believe that the Chukchi are ancient proto-Caucasian-NE Asians.

Another group that may well be remnants of the Ancient NE Asians may be the Ainu, but they only showed up 14,000 YBP, and by that time, the Ancient Northeast Race was well underway. However, the Ainuid types seem to have spread out quite a bit. Remains from Northern China from 9,000 YBP appear Ainuid. Ainuid or Australoid types were the first people to come to the Americas. There are a few tribes left who seem to be the remnants of these ancient people. One was an extinct tribe in Baja California called the Guaycuru. I am thinking that the Gilyak may also be part of this ancient race. In phenotype, the Gilyak look more Japanese to me than anything else.

The Ancient NE Asian Race may well have been an Australoid type race. Australoid inputs were significant in the formation of the Caucasoid race. An ancient Caucasoid skull from Southern Russia from 33,000 YBP has been classed “Australoid” based on skull type.

The Australoids were in a sense the original Out of Africa people. Yes, they are primitive, sure, but do you think our most ancient ancestors, the OOA people from 70,000 YBP, were not primitive?

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Filed under Ainu, Anthropology, Asia, Asians, China, Eurasia, Europeans, History, Northeast Asians, Physical, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, Russia, The Americas

Africans Are Not “Stone Age” People

Now I am not defending the United States. It’s actually inferior to Canada, New Zealand or Australian white settler colonies in many ways.

But this is mostly because a great deal of stone-age people were imported as slaves or Spanish soldiers raped Red Women in the Southwest 5 times a day back in the 1700’s to create a vast Mixed underclass.

Please do not call African Blacks “Stone Age people.” That is how the White Nationalists talk. Africans had had agriculture for 12,000 years when they were imported to the US. Stone Age people don’t have agriculture. I get so tired of listening to White Nationalists call Africans Stone Age people.

Agriculture itself rose in Africa. Africans were probably the first humans to practice agriculture.

There was little if any breeding between Spaniards and Indians in the US Southwest. That was all happening south of the border.

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How the Pentagon and the CIA De Facto Created the FARC

Colombia has a very strange political system. There are two main political parties, the Liberals and the Conservatives, who are striking in that there seems to be so little difference between them. They are both parties of the Colombian ruling class, possibly representing a “liberal” versus “conservative” split in the ruling class a long time ago. Just guessing, the split may have had something to do with religion with the conservatives being the more religious party and wanting a bigger role for the Church in the state and the liberals being more modernizing reformers who were more secular and dedicated to more of a church-state split.

Unbelievably, these two ruling class parties who are barely different at all, spent the entire 1950’s murdering each other by the hundreds of thousands in an insane bloodletting called “La Violencia.” A Leftist politican (I think his name was Galan) was elected in the late 1940’s, but he was quickly murdered by the Colombian ruling class, which is what they always do with any Leftist who wins an election down there. This was the first time that Colombia had elected anyone even remotely resembling a progressive reformer, so of course the ruling class murdered him immediately. His killing set off huge riots all over Colombia that raged for a long time and were difficult to put down.

I believe that this set off the Violencia because I think Galan, a Leftist, actually ran on the Liberal ticket. Most of the people slaughtering each other during this idiotic Violencia were just the Colombian urban poor and the poor peasants of the rural areas. The ruling classes formed armies out of these poor people and sent them out to commit mass murder on each other.

After 300,000 deaths caused by the Colombian ruling class in the Violencia, the roots of the Marxist revolution down there took hold. The FARC were the remains of Violencia fighters who said the heck with this war and took refuge at a place called Mariatelia in Colombia in 1964 and set up communal farms there. They were tired of fighting and just wanted to be left alone.

The Colombian media went crazy screaming about the “Communist government” that seceded from the state had formed down there. The CIA was in on this wild propaganda process from the start.

Eventually the Colombian government went down to this area with a large army force and attacked these communes with massive weaponry. The Pentagon and the CIA were involved in the battle. The US and the Colombians even used chemical weapons to try to exterminate these farmers. The farmers fought back, but they were outnumbered. Maybe 90-95% of them were killed, but a few survived.

The survivors realized that there was no way to live in peace with what has always been a genocidal Colombian ruling class, and they took up arms to defend themselves. This is the way that almost all Leftwing guerrilla wars got started in the Cold War. The Left got tired of sitting around waiting for the government to come out and murder them, so they decided that as long as the government was going to come out and try to kill them, they might as well get some guns and try to defend themselves. This is how the FMLN, the URNG, the FARC, the ELN, the Sandinistas and even the MRTA got started.

So this was the beginning of Manuel “Sure Shot” Marulanda and the FARC, essentially created by the mass murders of the Pentagon and the CIA in Colombia.

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Another Explanation for Venezuela’s Economic Crisis

It’s Chile 1973 all over again.

Are you familiar with what the US and the Chilean Right did in Chile in 1973 to get rid of Allende? Remember Kissinger said, “We are going to make the Chilean economy scream”? They created economic chaos, then used that as a pretext for riots and violence, and then amidst all the chaos, they started loudly screaming that a coup was necessary to restore order. Then a couple of coup attempts followed which did not work. Then they activated death squads and started assassinating Allendists. The Chief of Staff of the Chilean Army was assassinated.

A fascist guerrilla movement was activated by the CIA which ran around starting riots everywhere and setting off bombs at government and opposition locales.

Furthermore, there was a media war in the West of hysterical near-continuous lies. Time Magazine was one of the worst actors in that regard. The Western media printed stories that said that Soviet Navy vessels were off the coast of Chile and that Soviet troops had entered the country and were training at bases Allende had set up. All of these hysterical stories were complete lies, and they were all planted by the CIA. Nevertheless, the entire Western media printed them without even bothering to figure out if they were true or not.

There was a huge trucker’s strike which ruined the economy because the trucks were used in the transportation network that distributed goods to stores. The truckers were paid huge sums by the CIA and the opposition to go on strike.

Finally there was an actual coup supported by the CIA. During this coup, the Chilean Air Force attacked the Presidential Palace where Allende resided. That would be like if the US Air Force started strafing and bombing the White House trying to kill the US President. Can you imagine how outrageous that would be? President Allende picked up a large machine gun and ran to a window on an upper floor of the palace and started shooting at the planes. While he was doing this, he was killed by the strafing and bombing of the Air Force. So the Chilean military assassinated the President of Chile!

All of these things are exactly what is happening in Venezuela right now, down to the letter.

It is literally Chile 1973 down to the exact last tiny detail.

The US has has done this exact model in many other places, especially with Aristide in Haiti.

Here it is, 43 years after the 1973 coup, and the US is doing the same thing all over again. That shows that in 43 years, US foreign policy has not changed one iota. Our foreign policy now is exactly the same as it was back then.

US foreign policy is the same under both Republican and Democratic Presidents. Barack Obama is Richard Nixon. The former is a “liberal,” and the latter was a “conservative.” John Kerry is Henry Kissinger. The former is a “liberal,” and the latter is a “conservative,” but none of that matters in US foreign policy, as it is always the same under “Democrats” as well as “Republicans” and “conservatives” as well as “liberals.”

This is known as “the bipartisan foreign policy consensus” and one of the fears of the people who run this country was that the Vietnam War destroyed this cooperation pact between the two parties on foreign policy. But the breaking of that pact, if it took place at all, did not last long, as the Allende coup happened during what was supposedly the height of this split in the bipartisan foreign policy consensus.

It truly is one party: The Republicrat Party.

I think the Alternative Left should on principle oppose all coups and regime change efforts, as they are all from the Right anyway. Why should we support rightwing and pro-US coups? Why should we support rightwing and pro-US regime change? The Hell with that.

That ought to be a dealkiller for joining the Alt Left too. If you support rightwing and pro-US coups and regime changes, you are out of the Alt Left just like that. We should not tolerate anyone who thinks like that.

Another Explanation for Venezuela’s Economic Crisis

Peter Bolton – COHA

March 28th 2016

Reports in the English-language press last week highlighted a series of small-scale street protests in Venezuela that bemoaned the scarcity of certain basic products, chronic shortages of medical supplies, and continued power and water outages throughout the country.

According to Reuters, for instance, more than a thousand such protests occurred in January and February and, taken together, “show the depth of public anger” and “could become a catalyst for wider unrest.”[1] News accounts proclaiming Venezuela’s state of emergency are not new but in recent weeks have reached hysterical levels, with the Boston-based Global Post claiming that Venezuela’s economic situation is now “worse than 1960s Cuba.”[2]

The mainstream narrative explanation is that the crisis is the result of economic mismanagement and the ideological rigidity of the country’s “authoritarian” Chavista led-government.

For instance, Andreas E. Feldmann, Federico Merke, and Oliver Stuenkel, writing for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, wrote last November that “Venezuela’s steep recession has been worsened by economic mismanagement leading to mounting inflation, a widening fiscal deficit, and growing shortages of essential goods including food, soap, and diapers.”[3]  Similarly, Arlecchino Gomez at The Daily Signal, wrote, also last November, that Venezuela’s recession “was largely due to government incompetence and mismanagement.”[4]

The Workings of the “Free” Market

These sentiments are strongly predicated on the standard line of economic thought prevailing in the Western media and political class: that stringent price and currency controls are distorting the mechanisms of the “free” market and have led to stagnant production, soaring inflation and a burgeoning black market in U.S. dollars and consumer goods.

The explicit or strongly implied conclusion is that the crisis proves beyond doubt that socialism “doesn’t work” and that the solution to Venezuela’s ills is a return with gusto to Chicago School economic policy and hence a restoration of the unimpeded mechanisms of the market. Making this point in Forbes magazine, Tim Walstall goes so far as to compare the situation in Venezuela with the collapse of the Soviet Union; he argues that the solution “is to do as Russia did at the end of their socialist nightmare… [and implement] an immediate move to full blown free marketry [sic].”[5]

To achieve this, “regime change” is presented as an imperative prerequisite and the only viable way for things to improve. Michael Shifter, writing in Foreign Affairs, says that even though many on the Latin American left initially found Chavismo an “appealing alternative to market-based approaches,” these days “few dispute that it has failed.”[6]

The Alternative Thesis

Within Venezuela itself, however, this analysis is just one of two competing narratives, both of which are discussed and taken seriously in discussions of policy, governance, and economic dynamics. The economic mismanagement thesis is the natural position taken by the Venezuelan opposition and its allies.

But the fact that it is practically the only narrative reported in the English-language press misrepresents the intricacies of Venezuela’s economic problems while revealing how Western media heavily favor the opposition’s analysis, often by its own admission. (Rory Carroll of The Guardian, for instance, boasted that he moved almost exclusively in opposition elite circles while based in Caracas as the paper’s Latin America editor.)

But there is another narrative, favored by the government and the pro-Chavista social movements and civil society sectors, which, it is important to stress, are independent of the government. This perspective can loosely be called the economic war thesis. It explains the crisis in terms of the economic and social dynamics at play outside policy and governmental action.

It holds that business sectors friendly to the opposition are waging an aggressive and protracted campaign of economic sabotage to deliberately stir up social unrest to destabilize and discredit the governing Chavista bloc and in the ensuing chaos bring about an end to the PSUV government and the installation of a new one made up of opposition parties. The central pillars of the economic war thesis are that these hostile sectors have been engaging in acts such as hoarding and price speculation and have purposely generated scarcity in pursuit of calculated chaos.

Naturally, all of the allegations that make up this narrative are dismissed out of hand by the opposition, which argues that they amount to a desperate propaganda stunt to shift blame from the government’s own incompetence onto its political opponents. President Nicolás Maduro’s use of the term “bourgeois parasites” in particular has been seized on by opposition commentators to portray him as a hopeless buffoon desperately holding onto to power and flailingly seeking to prop up a failed political project.

Friendly commentators in the Western press are equally disparaging, with the aforementioned Michael Shifter, for instance, claiming that these accusations “have no merit,” but do serve to “show that any semblance of cooperation between the executive and the assembly to alleviate the country’s economic collapse is, at least for now, far-fetched.”[7] Similarly, Jeffrey Taylor writes in Foreign Policy, “Maduro’s response [to shortages and currency crises] has been to blame everything on scheming “Yanquis,” Venezuela’s “far-right elite,” the “parasitic bourgeois,” and, of course, the opposition, “even though he has effectively neutralized its leadership.”[8]

But though more scholarly research is necessary for a detailed and considered analysis of the myriad factors contributing to Venezuela’s economic situation, it is worth giving the claims of Chavismo a fair hearing. A fuller picture shows that this alternate thesis should not be so glibly dismissed.

Take hoarding, for instance. Before Hugo Chávez was elected president in 1998, the economic levers of society were near-exclusively in the hands of a social elite of overwhelmingly light-skinned Venezuelans: the inhabitants of the wealthy neighborhoods of Venezuela’s urban centers and wealthy landowners of the campo.

Not only were they in charge of importation, distribution and wholesaling of all manner of goods for the Venezuelan markets, but they also had a stranglehold over the state apparatus needed to profiteer from effective importation in the first place. A central goal of Chavismo was to wrest control of the economic levers from this elite and more evenly disperse it throughout society. The Chávez and Maduro administrations have sought to democratize economic decision-making and predicate it on serving the public interest rather than the pursuit of private profit.

Confronting Entrenched Privilege

Political psychology provides important insights into the socio-economic dynamics of Venezuelan society. In his book, Angry White Men, sociologist Michael Kimmel argues that much of white men’s rage in the United States is the result of privileges that were historically bestowed on them gradually becoming less automatic. As historically disadvantaged sectors gain more opportunities and influence, the change appears to the previously favored group as a great injustice.[9]

The same dynamic is evident in Venezuela: an unaccountable elite of overwhelmingly white, Euro-descent Venezuelans hold positions of influence and has had control of many of the important economic decisions. In great part the Chavista movement was based on giving voice to the country’s poor majority, which incidentally is overwhelmingly black, brown, indigenous, and/or mixed race.

Hugo Chávez was himself of mixed-race heritage, with European, native Venezuelan, and African ancestry. The mere idea that such a person (or mono, meaning monkey, as the opposition frequently called him) could be president and give voice to the dark-skinned chusma was seen as a veritable insult to the Venezuelan elite.

The Chávez and Maduro governments have attempted to transition Venezuela away from a society that has been not only inherently racist and classist, but also highly rigid, stratified and oligarchic. Problems inevitably arise because this elite already holds the reins and can aggressively resist a recalibration of economic and social power. In 1998, the highly corrupt business class controlled almost every economic structure imaginable from distribution of food and production of oil to systems for obtaining dollars and importing consumer goods.

As James Petras and Henry Veitmeyer argue in their 2013 book What’s Left in Latin America? Regime Change in New Times, “The government’s socialist project depends on mass social organizations capable of advancing on the economic elite and cleaning the neighborhoods of rightwing thugs, gangsters and paramilitary agents of the Venezuelan oligarchs and [Colombia’s] Uribe regime.”[10]

Since these are the people who were already in positions of economic power and influence when the Bolivarian process began, their ability to throw a wrench in the government’s efforts for reform has been formidable. Ryan Mallet-Outtrim, writing in Venezuela Analysis, points out that “Venezuela’s private sector has long attacked the socialist government.” So much so, he adds, “that for years Venezuelans have acknowledged that scarcity of basic consumer goods spikes around important elections, as businesses seek to pressure voters into turning against Chavismo.”[11]

Evidence of such efforts by pro-opposition sectors has not been lacking. Immediately following the opposition victory in the 2015 National Assembly elections, for instance, social media commentators indicated that staple goods miraculously began to reappear on shelves throughout the country.[12] Tellingly, some of the products had expiration dates that suggested that the problem was not with production but rather with distribution, which is largely controlled by the right-wing business elite. By creating this kind of scarcity, the elite were essentially trying to starve the public into rejecting the revolution, a tactic influenced by the United States’ economic blockade against Cuba.

When these dynamics are taken in the wider context of Venezuelan politics over the last two decades, they begin to seem less and less ridiculous and more and more plausible. Throughout the period of Chavismo there have been times when these aggressive tactics of economic sabotage have been too obvious to allow for the opposition’s usual equivocation.

During the so-called oil strike, for example, opposition forces led by Venezuela’s largest business association, Fedecamaras, orchestrated a nationwide disruption of oil production in hopes that the ensuing economic chaos would destabilize the government and precipitate a coup.[13]Taken in the context of this history of instigated pandemonium, the economic war thesis emerges as at least equally worthy of consideration as its major competitor.

Internal and External Challenges to the Revolution

None of this is to say, of course, that there are no legitimate criticisms of the central government, far less that the opposition’s explanation for the economic crisis should be dismissed as casually as it dismisses the government’s. Yet there are mitigating factors that must be raised in the government’s defense. The Bolivarian process has attempted not just to pay the social debt that was owed the country’s poor majority, but also to radically transform society by offering an alternative development model to the neoliberal consensus of the 1980s and 1990s that plunged the entire region into disarray.

The Chávez and Maduro administrations have attempted this task while facing constant hostility not only from an aggressive internal political opposition that has often resorted to violence, but also from the hemisphere’s hegemon, the United States. Washington, which almost instinctively has been opposed to Chavismo from day one, has consistently interfered in Venezuela’s internal affairs in the hope of crushing the Bolivarian process.

From a Bush administration-backed[14] and CIA-aided[15] coup in 2002, in which then-President Chavez was nearly removed from power by force, to refusals to recognize Chavista electoral victories, threats of sanctions, and covert funding for opposition candidates, the United States had been determined to do everything possible to ensure that it would fail. The United States has viciously opposed anything that threatens the dominance of the unfettered neoliberal capitalist vision that it has sought to defend, and then spread, throughout the world.

As William Camacaro and COHA Senior Research Fellow Fred Mills wrote early last year in Counterpunch, “A great deal hangs in the balance with regard to the feasibility of advancing a democratic socialist project while under the continuous attack of a U.S.-backed opposition, elements of which are bent on restoring the neoliberal regime.”[16]

The U.S. mainstream media, overwhelmingly owned by large corporations and loyal to their interests, naturally reflects and promulgates the ideological contours of this worldview. Herein lies the explanation for why the debate has been so narrow, so inordinately skewed toward the opposition’s account of the situation, and so disregarding of the complexities and subtleties of the discourse regarding the admittedly tragic and desperate circumstances in which the Venezuelan people find themselves.

[1] “Small Protests Proliferate in Simmering Venezuela,” The New York Times, accessed March 21, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2016/03/17/world/americas/17reuters-venez….

[2] “Venezuelans in the US Say Their Country Is Worse Than 1960s Cuba,” Global Post, accessed March 21, 2016, http://www.globalpost.com/article/6749177/2016/03/21/venezuelans-us-say-….

[3] “Venezuela’s Political Crisis: Can Regional Actors Help?,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, accessed March 21, 2016, http://carnegieendowment.org/2015/11/30/venezuela-s-political-crisis-can….

[4] “Venezuela’s Economic Crisis,” The Daily Signal, accessed March 21, 2016, http://dailysignal.com/2015/11/09/venezuelas-economic-crisis/.

[5] “Venezuela’s Economic Catastrophe Isn’t About To Happen, It Has Happened,” Forbes, accessed March 21, 2016, http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2016/02/07/venezuelas-economic-c….

[6] “Venezuela’s Meltdown Continues,” Foreign Affairs, accessed March 21, 2016, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/venezuela/2016-03-10/venezuelas-….

[7] Ibid.

[8] “Venezuela’s Last Hope,” Foreign Policy, accessed March 21, 2016, http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/06/10/venezuelas-last-hope-leopoldo-lopez-….

[9] “Angry White Men: A Book Review,” Huffington Post, accessed March 21, 2016, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tristan-bridges/a-review-of-angry-white-m_….

[10] James Petras and Henry Veitmeyer, What’s Left in Latin America?: Regime Change in New Times, Routledge (2016).

[11] “How Bad is Venezuela’s Economic Situation?,” Venezuela Analysis, accessed March 21, 2016, http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/11832.

[12] “Basic Goods ‘Suspiciously’ Begin to Appear in Venezuela Stores, TeleSur,” accessed March 21, 2016, http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Basic-Goods-Suspiciously-Begin-to-…–20151214-0018.html.

[13] “Venezuelan General Strike Extended,” BBC News, accessed March 21, 2016, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1918189.stm.

[14] Venezuela Coup Linked to Bush Team,” The Guardian, accessed March 22, 2016, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/apr/21/usa.venezuela.

[15] “The CIA Was Involved in the Coup against Venezuela’s Chavez,” Venezuela Analysis, accessed March 22, 2016, http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/800.

[16] “Revolution, Counter Revolution and the Economic War in Venezuela,” Counterpunch, accessed March 21, 2016, http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/01/27/revolution-counter-revolution-and….

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Disconnected in Cuba: Yes, but How Much?

As you now know,Obama has just gone to Cuba, the first US President to go there in many years. There is much to write about that visit including a wild run-up in rightwing outrage, especially over a photo taken of Obama with a painting of Che Guevara in the background.

One thing you will notice is that any article in the US or UK that discusses the Internet in Cuba will usually say that there is hardly any Internet in Cuba, that it is all restricted to the island and that hardly any Cubans have access to it anyway.

All reporting in the US and UK about Cuba is essentially propaganda, Cold War propaganda.

The war against Communism was one of the most serious wars that the capitalist class ever fought. If Communism won, everything they had, all their money, wealth assets and power, would be gone. The Communists and everyone and anyone associated with them, which in practice meant anyone on the Left at all, had to be defeated and not only that but destroyed. Anything was fair game in this fight to the death.

Mass propaganda was ubiquitous in the US during the Cold War because the capitalists thought that the threat of Communism was so great that all moral considerations had to go out the window and the ends justified the means. Yes, we say the ends justifies the means is immoral, but this is frankly the way that most humans operate. The ends justifies the means is the manner by which human life occurs and evolves, and it is just as present in modern civilization as it is in any primitive tribe.

“Anything to achieve our goal is ok,” is the human motto. In practice during the Cold War, this meant that an unbelievable amount of lying and distortion was allowed in coverage of the Cold War as long as it helped to defeat the Communists. This mass lying is still with us. No article about Cuba, North Korea, Belarus, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador or Argentina can be expected to tell anything near the truth.

The Cold War never ended because it was not just a war against the USSR. Even with no USSR, the Cold War had to go on. The Cold War needs to continue as long as there is socialism or a Left exists anywhere in the world. The Cold War was never really a war against the USSR. It was just sold to us that way. It was really a war against anything remotely leftwing from social liberalism through socialist all the way to Communism. The Cold War was 100% about economics and 0% about anything else.

Disconnected in Cuba: Yes, but How Much?

By the Cavivache Media Team

The first things that come to mind are the lack of connection and its nonexistence when thinking of this equation. It’s true that a great number of Cubans have never connected to the Internet but in reality it is more nuanced then the (more often heard) statements that say, “there is no Internet in Cuba” or “people have no access to information in Cuba”. From informal networks to compilations that travel on flash drives, and a whole series of other alternatives, Cubans have known how to find solutions despite the economic difficulties and the inefficiencies of the institutions in charge of facilitating Internet connections.

In 2014, according to Cuba’s National Office of Statistics and Information (ONEI), the country had 271 Internet users for every thousand inhabitants, close to 27% of the population. It’s not clear if this percentage includes the users that are connected to the series of national networks that don’t have access to content beyond the .cu domain. The government gives these accounts to doctors, cultural workers and other professionals in diverse sectors. For years, outsmarting the proxies of these local networks became normal to users and there were even moments when there breaches and it was possible to navigate on the Internet.

In contrast to the previous data, other reports indicate that before the surge of navigation halls and Wi-Fi zones, connectivity to Internet on the island reached 5%, which is not a very trustworthy figure.

Regardless of the exactness of the previous data, on June 4, 2013, Cuba took a step towards a mayor access to Internet with the opening of 118 navigation halls in the country at the price of 4.50 CUC an hour (1 CUC is approximately worth 1.15 USD). Two years later on July 1, 2015, 35 Wi-Fi zones were inaugurated in different parts of the country, authorization was granted for Cuban users to connect to Wi-Fi from tourist centers, and the prices of connecting were brought down to 2.00 CUC an hour. All of these measures have helped considerably to increase the presence of Cubans on the Internet, despite not knowing too all of its capacities.

According to Mayra Arevich Marín, an engineer and president of Cuba’s Telecommunication’s Company (ETECSA) at the end of 2015 there were 339 navigation halls with 1,174 computers with which to connect. At the beginning of 2016, there were 65 public areas with Wi-Fi and they hoped to create the infrastructure to open 80 new public Wi-Fi hotspots. Arevich Marín declared that at an average, more the 150 thousand Cubans have access daily to the Internet through these means. She also added that by November 2015, there were 1.2 million Nauta e-mail accounts, an international e-mail service used on phones with data plans that serves as a useful variable because it does not require connecting to the internet.

In any case, the statistics of the number of users that connect using Wi-Fi will never be completely trustworthy since many people share their connection through their cellphones or using apps like Connectify that allow for several users to connect from a single account. It’s a service that is usually resold in Wi-Fi hotspots as the slowest of options, which most people don’t know is also, insecure, but is definitely cheaper.

Apart from this “pure Internet” several national platforms exist in Cuba that have been developed since the 1990s in order to organize and connect prioritized sectors for the country’s development. For example, more than forty thousand doctors connect from their homes to Infomed, a network dedicated to medicine, that is part of Cuba’s intranet that despite its problems makes quite a contribution to their field. Infomed has several services like e-mail, virtual libraries, download of ftp (file transfer protocol) archives, scientific blog platforms, and social participation groups. Overall it’s a community dedicated to medical scientific advancement.

Another web portal is Cubarte, which is focused on sharing cultural information and services by artists and cultural professionals. In 2013, there were eleven thousand accounts on this platform, that among its services, apart from e-mail service it also has websites, bulletins with news articles on culture and a calendar that is updated often and can work by text messages. Like Infomed, it is far from perfect but has been a useful tool, although it hasn’t been used to the fullest in the process of connecting and developing the cultural sector.

Tinkering with the Internet in Cuba

Many people use the IMO app to communicate with family and friends. Photo: Fernando Medina / Cachivache Media

When you visit parks, hotels and other public areas with Wi-Fi hotspots in Cuba, there is a recurring scene: people — many people — talking euphorically into the air, pointing a phone to their face and in the best of cases, connected to a pair of earphones. The cause of all this behavior is IMO, a free app for phones that is used to make video calls and that Cubans use to talk with family and friends abroad. There are no public statistics on the number of Cubans using IMO in our country but the usual scene we described gives an idea of its popularity.

María Isabel Domínguez García in her research on Cuban Youth: Challenges and Opportunities for Current Cuban Society, published in 2013 by the Group on Youth Studies and the Center for Psychological and Sociological Research, did a survey on information technology and communication in which young people in between the ages of 11 and 24 or 88,2% declared having used Facebook at some point.

A less conclusive data but that still demonstrates how familiar Cuban youth are with social media, is the number of likes on the pages of some of the main stars of international football. On a fan map published by Facebook, Cuba is the tenth country in giving likes to Lionel Messi, third for Iker Casillas, eighth for Andrés Iniesta, fourth for Gerard Piqué and twelfth among followers of David Villa. This doesn’t confirm that they are regular users, but does affirm the existence of at least a first contact between Cuban youth and the platform created by Mark Zuckerberg.

Google Trends offers more references to how Cubans use the Internet. For example, from 2011 to 2014, Univision’s reality show Belleza Latina was at the top of search hits for Cuba. The soap operas in season also had an important place as well as the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, The 2012 London Olympics and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. In 2015, the year that navigating the web through the Wi-Fi hotspots exploded, the prize went to IMO, the video call app mentioned previously along with the login and exit pages for the Nauta accounts, which is another sign of the use of the Wi-Fi hotspots.

The Weekly Package

The informal consumption of audiovisuals has become common practice in Cuba. Photo: Fernando Medina / Cachivache Media

The Internet is not the only or even the most important source of information and connection for Cubans. In face of the impossibility of users to connect to the Internet, the development of new technologies in communications and information took a very particular path in Cuba in the field of entertainment. This phenomenon that was born in the era of Betamax and VHS tapes as an informal consumption of audiovisuals has been updated with the arrival of USB’s. In this world of informal consumers, the phenomenon known as the Weekly Package has become one of the most popular and best-structured variants in the country to combat the lack of connectivity.

Very succinctly, the Weekly Package is a compilation of information of 1 Terabyte that is regularly updated. Its distributors “emulate” the universe of content in the web, that just like on the Internet, you will find all types of materials: movies, shows, talent shows, TV series, soap operas from different countries, animated cartoons, YouTube videos, news, web pages that have been saved with national and international news. It comes with cellphone apps (iOS and Android), programs for different operating systems, videogames, documentaries (Cuban and foreign), programs from Cuban television, books, magazines, music, Cuban and foreign music videos, among other things.

The makeup of this content reproduces the usual patterns of diffusion in the entertainment industry: more than 60% of the products in the Weekly Package are from the US, with programs from the leading channels in the US like HBO, CNN, Cinemax, ESPN, Fox, ABC, CBS and Discovery. Despite its mimetic character in terms of cultural diversity, because of its wide scope the Weekly Package, has so many options that its ends up satisfying the needs of amusement for most people.

Access to this is quite simple. In its usual form, the whole terabyte of information cost 2 CUC, although in Havana, 70% of those surveyed for a thesis research project, declared never having paid for it at all. Prices fluctuate due to various factors, such as the distance that distributors must travel, how up to date the materials are, and how much information is bought since most people only have flash drives with capacities of in between 8 and 32 Gigabytes. They then select only the content they want to see.

According to numerous reports, the creation and distribution of the Weekly Package works through a nucleus of people who divide the tasks among themselves and take responsibility for getting the different materials generally downloaded from the Internet or captured through satellite antennas. Later a selection is made and the terabyte is prepared. These providers charge in between 100 and 400 CUC for their services every week. However there isn’t a single model, but several in which many people and music studios include their own content and change accordingly with their interests.

Many of the Weekly Package’s distributors are legally covered under a license for disc vendors, a general patent provided by the Cuban government to those distributing audiovisual materials. Despite being subject to copyright laws, its protection doesn’t seem to be a priority to the Island’s authorities.

According to different researchers, among the main motives for seeing the Weekly Package are the entertainment and the access to information. Even though Cuban television regularly shows movies from the US, many of which are blockbusters that have yet to come out on US channels, the Weekly Package is much faster to get and comes is higher definition. It also works as an offline version of Internet, where users select the materials they want and when they want to see them. A study from 2014 by the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television’s Center for Social Research revealed that less than 40% of people in Havana used the Weekly Package.

As of now, the Cuban government has created other alternatives such as The Backpack or the Educate Yourself, which try to offer alternative models of cultural consumption. Due to several issues that range from problems in the selection design to the presentation of the product itself, the result of these efforts have been a failure.

Mobile devices have become one of the main forms of digital consumption in Cuba. Photo: Fernando Medina / Cachivache Media

Other alternatives to being disconnected

Recently Cachivache Media wrote a piece about the Street Network (SNET), an informal and self-managed network that connects all the municipalities of Havana through wireless or by LAN. It extends itself from the municipalities of Bauta all the way to Cojimar (about 30 miles).

But SNET is not the only network of its kind in Cuba. Outside of Havana, many other municipalities also have informal and self-managed networks where alternative versions of social networks, game platforms, discussion forums, the usual ftp, as well as the Weekly Package and other diverse initiatives like specialized magazines and local information can be found.

Another option used by Cubans to talk and share content is Zapya. It’s an application that has become an offline space where people share contents of all sorts, especially applications that don’t have to be paid for. Zapya is also used to chat, a sort of social network where the user can decide to stay anonymous or not, share photos and talk about any theme. One of its most controversial uses has been its use for sexting and sexual hook-ups, which because of a lack of basic knowledge of cyber security, there have been cases of harassment and abuse.

The panorama just described is part of an increase in the last few years of a series of projects that focus on offering services and satisfying the need to take advantage of new technologies, adapted to the lack of connection on the Cuban scene. There are leading examples by Cuban entrepreneurs like Vistar and Play Off, magazines that are respectively dedicated to culture and sports. Suenacubano is a platform for sharing Cuban music and then there are mobile apps like ConoceCuba, a compilation of cultural interests, EcuMovil, a mobile version of the online Cuban encyclopedia Ecured. There is also AlaMesa, a restaurant guide and Ké hay pa’ hoy? Which is a cultural guide (these last two are available on Google Play).

Finally, are we connected or not?

Cuba has a sui generis reality where the lack of connection is not synonymous of the neither cultural nor informative isolation. Despite the scarce penetration of the internet, that keeps us isolated from important economic, scientific and cultural processes, Cubans have known how to find solutions in order to somehow stay connected to the world. Either through the Internet provided by the government or the different initiatives of several Cuban entrepreneurs, it has allowed for Cubans to stay in tune with what happens “abroad”.

As a result, the tastes of consumers on the Island aren’t very different from the rest of western culture. All the rumors, records and news from European football, whose games are shown frequently on Cuban TV, are lived with the same emotion as in any home on the Old Continent. In any cafeteria or taxi, the top hits from Billboard can be heard. Only five days after House of Cards 4th season came out on Netflix, it was already being shared on flash drives in Havana.

Yet there is much to be to done in making full use of the Internet’s tools and to domesticate or Cubanize this network of networks. In matters of culture and information, we have only a short delay, but just that. The idea of a blind and deaf Cuba, a sort of El Dorado that is waiting to be discovered and discovering of the world is very much far from reality.

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Changing Definitions of “Communism” in Our Era

Repost from the old site:

As a member of the Left, I am used to purges and being told that, in general, I am not leftwing enough. I’ve been purged from quite a few leftwing groups for insufficient political correctness or not being leftwing enough.

I was made to feel quite unwelcome at a Green Party meeting for daring to suggest that being invaded by millions of immigrants might be bad for US workers and the environment. I was given the cold shoulder by Greens for daring to suggest that their gleeful plot to defeat every Democrat running for office in 2000 was both offensive and stupid.

I was thrown out of the local cell of the CPUSA for “not being a Communist” and “supporting capitalism”.

Never mind that the noun “Communist” doesn’t have a whole lot of meaning anymore. The Communists in China are supporting capitalism in spades, in the very worst varieties of it yet, and still call themselves Communists. The Communists in Vietnam have introduced a lot of capitalism to their system.

Salvador Allende was a Communist who ruled Chile under a completely democratic system.

The Sandinistas had one of the most democratic systems in Latin America in the midst of an armed rebellion against the state.

Imagine if armed terrorists were running around the US, killing 1.8 million Americans over a 10-yr period, and being supported by the US’ worst enemies, say North Korea and Iran.

They have invaded farms and lined up the farmers and their families and farmworkers and tortured all of them to death. They specialize in raiding schools and hospitals where they murder teachers in front of their students and murder doctors, nurses and patients after lining them up against the wall. This is what America was supporting in the Contras.

Imagine that in the face of this provocation, a large US newspaper, a wildly rabid and yellow journalist sheet of the type we do not see anymore, regularly cheered the terrorists on with screaming boldface headlines, and every day urged the killing of the President, all members of Congress and everyone working for the US government. Do you think the FBI would shut down that paper or what?

This is what the Sandinistas had to put up with, and they didn’t even put the traitors in jail. They merely censored some of the more outrageous articles. Far from being a dictatorship, the Sandinistas were one of the most democratic states that ever existed.

Euro-Communists have run very European state governments for decades and have been present in Parliament and Cabinet level positions. Euro-style Communists have been running Indian state governments for decades also and have been present in the Parliaments of Japan and Nepal in large numbers.

In Europe, India, Nepal and Japan, the Euro-Comm types have all supported as much democracy as anyone else in their states supported, and they have all supported high levels of capitalism.

In the most recent issue of the CPUSA’s theoretical journal, the CPUSA fully supported the economic project of the Chinese Communist Party, and stated, “the transition from capitalism to socialism may be more on the order of decades than years”. Regarding democracy, the CPUSA said, “It seems probable that there can be no true socialism without complete democracy”.

Since 1979 and surely since 1989, there has been a Hell of a lot of rethinking going on in the Communist movements of the world. The dictatorship of the proletariat, democratic centralism, bans on private party – all of that is up for grabs. Many Communists nowadays support full democracy and a mixed economy.

There are now many religious Communists, especially Liberation Theology Catholics in Latin America and the Philippines. There have always been Muslim and Christian Communists in the Arab World. Cuba now allows Christians into the party. There are organizations of Christian Marxists in Cuba holding meetings and publishing documents.

Camilo Torres, a Catholic priest, led an armed guerrilla movement in Colombia in 1965. Another Catholic priest, an American, led an armed guerrilla movement in Honduras in 1983. There are Catholic priests who are very active in the Maoist NPA guerrillas in the Philippines. There were even Catholic priests, nuns and lay workers who supported the Shining Path in Peru, to the point of helping them carry out military operations.

If all this news violates your cherished ideas about what it means to be a Communist, you need to quit reading this blog right now and go somewhere where your lower intelligence can be better accommodated – such as this website.

Marx and Lenin were not Gods. Communism is a scientific movement. Marx and Lenin, being materialist beings (humans), were surely capable of error about many things. The Communist Manifesto is not a religious text. If you run your life by a cookbook, dogmatically define words only with a Webster’s, think definitions are as hard as rocks and pigeonhole people in various pegs on a pegboard, you are just flat-out on the wrong blog.

There are plenty on the Right who think that anyone who does not fit the Websters definition of Communist must be a liar or an idiot. There are plenty on the Left who think that anyone who does not fit their definition of a Communist is a “revisionist” or a “fake Communist”.

Npwadays, who is a Communist? To tell the truth, anyone who says he is! What is the definition of Communism? It’s in flux, and it means all sorts of things depending on all of the competing versions of the philosophy out there.

In the Linguistics branch called Semantics, we learned that the dictionary does not necessarily give you the correct or complete definition of a word. A word means whatever people who are using it say it means – it’s that simple. Communism means whatever Communists say it means, in all of their competing visions.

If you can’t your head around that, like I said, maybe you came to the wrong blog – go here instead. If this post stimulates your thinking, that’s the general idea. If you agree with most of the above, bookmark me.

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“Things Were Great In Cuba Under Batista”

Santoculto writes:

Even in the Fulgencio Batista era, Cuba have lower crime rates as well good social indicators.

I do not know what crime was like in Cuba in the 1950’s but I do know that Organized Crime called the Mafia ran the whole island, so there was a lot of organized crime.

And there was Jim Crow segregation all over the country, even in Havana. And it was as bad as this system ever was in the US South. It was on that level. It doesn’t sound like Black people had it so well.

That whole line about good social indicators in the 1950’s is no good. Life was good if you were a middle class or wealthy person who lived in Havana. Everyone else had lousy lives. There were a lot of urban poor, and they lived like crap. And there was an incredible amount of poverty in the rural areas. Almost all of the doctors were located in Havana and took cash.

It took quite some time for the Castroites to wire up the whole island and give everyone electricity, get everyone into a decent house, get clean water to everyone, get sewage systems built, build the schools that needed to be built and build up the medical infrastructure. It was a great big project, and it took a long time. That right there implies that things were not so cool before 1959 because if everyone had clean water, power, a decent house, a sewage system, and all the schools and medical centers they needed, none of this infrastructure would have had to have been developed, correct?

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