Quote of the week...please share your favourite line from Ayn Rand's writings

“Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values.”

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Castro Admits the Failure of the Cuban Model

Fidel Castro, who had abstained from commenting on local issues for a long time, has admitted that the communist economic model doesn’t work. He said this to an American journalist who visited the country. "The Cuban model doesn't even work for us anymore”, he said, when he was asked whether other countries would do well if they adopt the Cuban model. In Cuba, the Government controls 90 percent of the economy.

Cuba was a country which adhered to Socialism even after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Castro can’t claim that he was not warned, that this mistake was made innocently. Half a century has passed after these words were written: “Fifty years ago, there might have been some excuse (though not justification) for the widespread belief that socialism is a political theory motivated by benevolence and aimed at the achievement of men’s wellbeing. Today, that belief can no longer be regarded as an innocent error. Socialism has been tried on every continent of the globe. In the light of its results, it is time to question the motives of socialism’s advocates.”(Ayn Rand, The Virtue Of Selfishness). It is strange that it took him such a long time to catch up to this knowledge. While it should be appreciated that he had the honesty to admit that he was wrong, his evasiveness on the subject raises much suspicion.

Socialism was definitely not a mistake which would be evident only after a post-mortem analysis. In 1920, Ludwig Von Mises proved beyond doubt that no rational planning is possible under socialism in the absence of market prices.” Pictures of Socialistic Future” by Eugene Richter warned of the impending disaster in 1891, much before communists got their way in Russia. Even then, it was an issue which was beaten to death long ago. Bastiat wrote as early as 1849 of the socialist attitude: “Superior! This supposes that these gentlemen can see further than the common people; that their only fault is that they are too ahead of their times; and if the time is not yet come for suppressing certain free services, pretended parasites, the fault is to be attributed to the public, which hasn’t caught onto Socialism. I say, from my soul and my conscience, the reverse is the truth; and I know not to what barbarous age we should have to go back, if we were to sink to the level of Socialist knowledge on this subject.” It is ironic that such semi-barbarians claim their monstrous, archaic ideology to be ahead of the times and morally and economically superior. The claim of economic superiority has weakened, and now it rests only on the moral argument, which never had any merit.


  1. It was great to go through this well-researched post.

    When I was young, our mainstream folks would openly admire Castro. A particularly ghastly memory is one of that mandatory color photograph wherein a tall Castro in his military dictator's attire (what else?) was shown hugging a very frail-looking, petite Indira Gandhi. The photograph had to accompany every article, not just on Cuba but also on Foreign Policy, International Relations, even along with "panchasheel tatwa," etc.

    As to the media, it was all populated and governed by socialists.

    Yet, in a way, I feel, as far as such a piece of *photo-journalim* goes, no credit can be deducted from its account. After all, Indira Gandhi happens to be our first prime minister who not only courted dictatorship but also *actually* ended up being a semi-dictator herself.

    Can't say Cuba is far away from India. No. Not really.

    As to the moral case, I hope Indian socialist intellectuals (and there are *tons* of them, the word *tons* indicating the nature of their own premises) would read the relevant history, taking cue from you.

    Barkha, will you make a note of it and ask about it to, say, a Brinda Karat (a woman!) or a Sitaram Yechury (a XII topper!) the next time you invite them over to your "We the People" show?

    Forget it.

    All in all, a good post. Give us some idea as to how you researched this one---what was the trail like.



  2. The euphoria that this monstrous idea and its perpetrators like Castro caused in those times remains unexplained to me.One possible explanation may be that at that time it was too dark for people to choose between right and wrong.
    Something like that seems unlikely to happen now,but may be I am too naive to know.