marți, 8 decembrie 2009
THESES AND ANTITHESES
Two collaborators of the Literary & Contemporary Horizon magazine have sent several texts for publication, texts which are partially reproduced here. The first essay belongs to Indian Venkata Ramanan and deals with communism as a still viable model of organizing the world; the second one, written by Rolando Pulido, a Cuban immigrant to the U.S.A., evaluates communism from the perspective of Fidel Castro's historical experience. We hope both texts to evoke our readers' interest and generate a discussion regarding the problem of a better societal organization (approached from ancient times by Plato in Republic) and human perfectibility. (Daniel Dragomirescu)
Doi colaboratori ai revistei Contemporary Horizon ne-au trimis spre publicare textele pe care le reproducem partial in cele ce urmeaza. Primul eseu este scris de indianul Venkata Ramanan si se refera la comunism ca un model inca viabil de organizare a lumii, cel de-al doilea, scris de Rolando Pulido, cubanez emigrat in Statele Unite, evalueaza comunismul prin prisma experientei istorice din Cuba lui Fidel Castro. Speram ca ambele texte vor fi primite cu interes de cititorii revistei noastre si ca vor genera o discutie in legatura cu problema - prefigurata inca din antichitate de catre Platon in dialogul „Republica” - a unei mai bune organizari a societatii si a perfectibilitatii umane. (D. D.)
VENKATA RAMANAN: COMMUNISM – NEEDED, A MORE HUMANE ONE
Communism stood for certain principles, namely equality, eradication of the difference between the Have’s and Have nots, distribution of wealth, work accoding to capacity and be provided for what you need, classless society.
The collapse of Communism is mainly due to the fact that it assumed work and needs can be quantified. They can never be for needs are subjective, and ‘work according to capacity ‘ can not be defined-who defines capacity? Secondly it assumes human beings are mere numbers.No doubt man needs material comforts the most; however that is not the Summum Bonum of His existence. He has his feelings,emotions and ambitiuons and a constant desire to to move up. Thirdly, the premise that ‘That all are born equal’ is a wrong one. Human beings are similar, not identical. No two individuals are equal in that their predispositions, drives, level of competency, and their definitions of needs and happiness.This communism has failed to make allowance for. Fourthly, too much of academic discussion on the means to achieve their ends, socialism, democracy, revolution etc; while achieving, the goal should have been accorded priority by sticking to one process, say Socialism and not dithering because of impatience, and switching over to Arms. Fifthly, Distribution of wealth without creating it. Sixthly, confusion as to which comes first, their Nation or their ideologies. This led to international friction among the practitioners of the same system. Seventhly, dogmatic adherence , bordering on Religious fervour that anything other than communism is evil. Eighthly, systematic destruction of the fundamental units of Society, Family, Religion, Philosphy, free thought and criticism.While creating classless society, they have created elite in the form of members of the party, politburo Members and the common man.Yet the principle of communism is sound and is needed even today-especially to day-as Keynesian Economics is not delivering the goods and the divide between the Rich and the Poor is widening. What is needed now is the elimination of the mistakes mentioned above and provide Communism with a more Human face; fight for injustice, in a democratic way, without being impatiennt.Lastly what was the quip about’oriental despotism’-Typical Occidental reaction; if things go right, it is due to them; if wrong, orientals.USSR, oriental?
Few occasions are more propitious for forgetting the past than moments of historical commemoration. Amidst fond recollections of the fall of the Berlin wall, and in a time of, at least temporary, improvement in relations between Russia and the west, few may spare a thought for what it was that ended two decades ago. On two issues history has given its ultimate verdict: the cold war, the third and longest of the three chapters that made up the great global civil war of 1914-91, will not return; the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), as a multinational state and as a global ideological and strategic challenge to the west, is indeed dead. However, on a third component of this story – the worldwide communist movement – the verdict is, as yet, less clear (…)
ROLANDO PULIDO: CUBAN DIASPORA AND DEMOCRACY
As Cubans at liberty we can seldom write or speak about Cuban issues without stirring discussion amongst ourselves. Not surprisingly we savor conversation over these matters; debate is quintessential Democracy. Although many differences and potent sentiments exist within the global Cuban community as to various policies affecting our homeland we all love and miss our island. As freedom loving people, we all agree on one fundamental goal: the return to a free and prosperous Cuba.
The Cubans as a people have found refuge, made homes and put down roots in many nations throughout the world. Cubans have maintained their national cultural traditions while assimilating the customs of the cities, towns and neighborhoods that have accepted and welcomed them as immigrants. We have embraced and enjoyed the social, political and economic freedoms offered in various Democratic nations where we have flourished as contributing members of society. This has not been limited to the fortunate ones who managed to escape or were expelled from post-Castro Cuba, but those who emigrated of there own free will as well, before the nation began moving down the tragic path of an oppressive collective dictatorship half a century ago.
My island was the first major European colony established in the New World, because of it's geographical location became known as the key to the Americas. As a vital hub for Renaissance trade routes the people of Cuba absorbed the culture, education and characteristics not only of Spain but also France, England, Holland and other European countries. These were some of the numerous ingredients that contributed to the rich culture that we Cubans are notably proud of and cherish so much. Centuries later, in 1902, after the island achieved independence as a consequence of the Spanish-American War the United States began to have considerable influence in our culture in addition to economic growth of the nation as result of expanded trade, tourism and investment on the island. Those contributions, that partnership, were instrumental in developing a strong foundation during the first years and decades of a truly new nation.
Inarguably, it was a catastrophic step on the path of the relatively young Cuban Republic when Fulgencio Batista seized power in 1952. While having served honorably as the elected president from 1940 to 1944 in a span which has been noted for economic growth as well as social reforms his new term as self-appointed leader was met with popular resistance which was strongly repressed as his regime became infamous for its decadence and malfeasance. The Cuban people, understandably, resisted against the government and eventually brought down the dictatorship. The new leadership of Fidel and Raul Castro, the interloper, Ernesto Che Guevara, and many other bad actors betrayed the people and the revolution against the ruthless Batista. Those who confronted the new authoritarian regime with its duplicity, including those who had fought against Batista, were dealt with harshly: imprisonment or execution. By the following year, 1960 , Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDRs) were formed to discover (or fabricate) information about those who acted or spoke against the new dictatorial administration. Local CDRs were employed to keep records of activities and associations that might be considered suspicious or counter-revolutionary, such as: sexual behavior (homosexuals were and are still brutally persecuted), friends, spending habits, criticism of the government, etcetera. Informing the CDR became popular very quickly as an easy way to curry favor with the members of the tyrannical regime. The Committees for the Defense of the Revolution continue today as does the extreme deprivation that the Communists vowed to eliminate. Proper nutrition, housing, education, medical care, employment opportunities do not exist in Cuba. The promises of 1959 never materialized. Cuba is essentially a parasitical welfare state. The Cuban people of today due to influences from without and from within the island continue with their travail and a steady diet of mendacity and exploitation (…)
(See the complete version of these articles in „Orizont literar contemporan” / „Contemporary Literary Horizon”magazine, issue no 9/2009)