The Therapy Sessions
Wednesday, June 30, 2004
What we can learn from Cuba
I'm often surprised by the depths people will go to portray Cuba as some kind of paradise. It's socialist and anti-American, so it must be a great place. But this from the Minneapolis Star Tribune absolutely took my breath away:
In 1959 the Cuban masses did something that working people have yet to do in this country: They took power out of the hands of a tiny privileged minority and began to exercise it for themselves. They became the makers of their own history. Unlike in the United States, where politics is reduced to a boring spectator sport and working people are treated as mere consumers -- thus, the high abstention rate -- Cubans vote with their feet every day in defense of their revolutionary conquests. More than 1 million took to the streets in Havana May 14 to protest the Bush administration's latest moves. The social gains that the Cuban people enjoy, as in education and health care, are possible because they possess political power -- in other words, real democracy. Precisely because U.S. workers lack such power, their social wages continue to erode.
Unbelievable. No mention of Castro, political dissidents, poverty, malnutrition or refugees desperately trying to reach the US.
Once again, we find that economic "rights" are more important than the Bill of Rights in the hard left's thinking. If it means rewriting history and ignoring modern events to get that belief across, so be it.
The hard left is composed of fanatical devotees to the false religion that Marxism has become. It's got its myths, like the belief that wealth can be created by a confiscatory state that seizes wealth and uses it for the public's benefit. Or the idea that my neighbor's riches must have been taken from my pocket. The Marxist religion has saints who have done no wrong: Castro, Che Guevara, and Trotsky come to mind. And, of course, it calls for the subversion of the individual to the struggle, and it has a promised land of a socialist utopia.
Of course, Marxism has proven unworkable every time it has been tried throughout history and in every region of the world. This does not sway the believers: Marxist economic theory just needs some tinkering to work. The dismal data of the experiments? They can just be written away, as liberal journalists are attempting to do with Cuba.
But Marxism is unworkable because it is the concentration of power in the hands of a centralized state. History is clear that the dilution of power, to more people and to more types of people, is more successful in improving human rights and standards of living.
In any country, there are several different seats of power: political power, economic power, religious power, civic power and the power of the media. In a healthy society, all exist independently. In unhealthy societies, they are mingled. When religious power is merged with political power we have theocracy; when business is merged with government we have communism. In reality, power hungry dictators rarely stop there. The worst dictatorships are chacterized by the absolute concentration of power, and all citizens, at all times, are kept under the state's watchful eye.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Liberals are fond of the saying but they do not understand its meaning. They wish for the government to get more involved in business of medicine or to control political ads in the media, but they fail to realize the corruption that such concentration of power will inevitably cause.
It is only in a healthy society, where all the seats of power are kept as separate as possible, that corruption can be weeded out and destroyed.