A poisonous invitation

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A poisonous invitation
Fecha de publicación: 
19 June 2020
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No mistake at all! We are being invited! So let´s dig deeper into the invitation: we are being invited to change everything (and not “everything that must be changed”) and hence, we should give up every achievement we have accomplished (which is hidden in the formula). Besides, we must leave out “the historic moment” and give up “the values in which we believe.” Meanwhile, the US blockade and “sanctions” (both shall be accepted) are still part of the menu, and so are the demoralizing propaganda, the “fake news,” the ignorance of our history and the attempt to discredit it. The menu also includes the attempt to tantalize our minds with idea of the ineffectiveness of our state, government, and socialism. Whereas liberalism is highlighted as the solution to achieve economic efficiency. This is basically the nature of the invitation we are being lured into, both “inside” and “outside” the country via social networks.

There is no mistake if we take into account the nature of the invitation, which is consistent with the “fourth-generation warfare” imposed on us. Not to mention the denial of our achievements and the contributions made to our history by Marx and Lenin without even understand them (do they even analyze or read their dialectical methods?) when they vigorously deny a “Political Economy” they do not understand (do they know its thesis?) while accepting uncritically an “official” standard Economy whose analytical tools are only used if it is understood and accepted that they are barely useful in analyzing the trends of forms, but not the heart of economic and social phenomena.

I believe we “Tyrians and Trojans” will coincide in analyzing first the nature of the invitation starting with Adam Smith —given his outstanding role in the emergence and development of “Economic Theory — and one of his most renowned quotes: “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest. We address ourselves not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities, but of their advantages.”

I also believe we will agree on if we understand the quote as Yuval Noah Harari did — he is one of the most prestigious analysts worldwide and at present, he serves as a consultant to Bill Gates and Angela Merkel — in his book “From Animals into Gods” no matter how much disturbing its grossness may look while agreeing with this author´s thought: “Adam Smith’s claim that the selfish urge to increase private profits is the basis for collective wealth is one of the most revolutionary ideas in human history – revolutionary not just from an economic perspective, but even more so from a moral and political perspective. What Smith says is, in fact the greed is good, and that by becoming richer I benefit everybody, not just myself. Egoism is altruism.”

And the last assumption (I will add no more to avoid jokes regarding economists and their excess in the content of their proposals): what is crystal clear to any analyst is that this invitation made by the suggesters disguises the concepts of liberalism — not only the economic — and the market (tangible in aforementioned quotes) under the guise of an unnecessary defense of MPYMES in our country (they suddenly remove the first M in the acronym, which stands for micro) by omitting that the need for them can be found in the consensus already achieved and adopted in the Economic and Social Policy Guidelines of the Party and the Revolution and the Conceptualization of the Cuban Economic and Social Model of Socialist Development.

And if championing MPYMES is unnecessary, then only the underlying concepts and what is “encrypted” remain: the call for liberalism and the market regulation. The proposal is then inopportune and failed at best, not to mention it has been rejected by even its beneficiaries, including the 1% although this number is less than previously thought. It seems that only suggesters have not understood that the pseudo-scientific fraud of Fukuyama — and his End of History prophecy, the triumph of economic liberalism and liberal democracy once the Cold War ended — had definitively died along with neoliberalism, even when the Coronavirus had not resulted in a wave of death and devastation yet.

Before going any further, a necessary explanation to avoid unnecessary disquisitions. We are analyzing the economic liberalism that is being secretly introduced every time Marx´s Political Economy is rejected — due to its obsolescence — and so is its take-over by Lenin, as all economic laws lead to capitalism in all of its manifestations — anyone with a certain degree of knowledge knows it. As they should also know that such liberalism is the same that must be under strict control and state monitoring to guarantee its subordination to the collective interest if “productive forces are unleashed.”

Once dismantled the fraud of liberalism (of course, it includes neoliberalism) and “the market” as solutions to the problems of our economy without applying our “obsolete, rejected” political economy, nothing better than using the criticism made from the “official, conventional” economics, both liberal and neoliberal (with orthodoxes and unorthodoxes), or even “regulators” ranging from M. Friedman and the “Shareholder Capitalism,” now rejected, along with Misses´ and Von Hayek´s, to Keynes´ “Regulated Capitalism,” also rejected by neoliberals.

Hardly it can be found stronger evidence for this than the statements of CEOs of nearly 200 ETNs members of the Roundtable Business Association, which groups CEOs from nearly two hundred major companies; namely, Apple, Amazon, GM, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, JP Morgan, Walmart…Fortune magazine, not Marxist at all, published in September 2019 the “New Purposes for the Corporation” and its “Commitment,” which included the total rejection of the neoliberal doctrine and significantly — not by chance — they left at the bottom of their list of “purposes” what Milton Friedman stated at the time as “one and only one social responsibility of business:” “to make profits for their shareholders” (A. Smith´s self-love) to “generating long-term value for shareholders.”

The World Economic Forum and its visions — some might have been labeled as sacrilege some years ago — also reject the official economic theory (which substituted the “obsolete” Political Economy) when in its Davos Manifesto 2020 states:

  • The purpose of a company is to engage all its stakeholders in shared and sustained value creation. In creating such value, a company serves not only its shareholders, but all its stakeholders – employees, customers, suppliers, local communities and society at large.
  • A company is more than an economic unit generating wealth. It fulfils human and societal aspirations as part of the broader social system. Executive remuneration should reflect stakeholder responsibility.
  • A company that has a multinational scope acts itself as a stakeholder – together with governments and civil society – of our global future.

Paired with the criticism to the liberalism and neoliberalism of the “Stakeholder Capitalism,” we should also include “neo-Keynesians” like J. Stiglitz who proposes the “Progressive Capitalism,” or American politicians like Elizabeth Warren who introduced the “Accountable Capitalism” or Bernie Sanders who claims to be “Socialist.”

To criticize the functioning of the market, which these suggesters — while criticizing the “obsolete” theory — make so much emphasis on, no one better than the Nobel Prize J. E. Stiglitz in his book The Price of Inequality: “Markets have clearly not been working in the way that their boosters claim. Markets are supposed to be stable, but the global financial crisis showed that they could be very unstable, with devastating consequences. The virtue of the market is supposed to be its efficiency. But the market obviously is not efficient. The most basic law of economics—necessary if the economy is to be efficient—is that

demand equals supply. But we have a world in which there are huge unmet needs (investments to bring the poor out of poverty, to retrofit the global economy to face the challenges of global warming). At the same time, we have vast underutilized resources. Unemployment — the inability of the market to generate jobs for so many citizens — is the worst failure of the market, the greatest source of inefficiency, and a major cause of inequality.”

And if J. Stiglitz and Paul Krugman are not enough (both are Nobel Prize Winners and Neo-Keynesians) to prove the shortcomings of liberalism and the market, you can also turn to Thomas Piketty, who stayed away from Marx and Engels´ “obsolete” Political Economy in The Communist Manifesto and the idea regarding “class struggle,” which is substituted by “struggle of ideologies” in his book Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Here, he explains how this struggle ends with extreme concentrations of income and wealth similar to those in hyper-capitalist societies, to the point that it jeopardizes the values of “meritocracy”, justice, and social cohesion with which democracies are legitimized.

But if appealing to the theory is not enough, recent events have proven the handicaps of a system built, basically, from liberalism based on the “laissez faire” and therefore, on the deregulation and the minimal state which have caused such a concentration of wealth to historic highs that, as Piketty pointed out in his work, threaten the system itself.

Finally, we cannot ignore this invitation is made in times of Coronavirus, which has intensified the systemic crisis of capitalism and its manifestations such as the worsening of the cyclical crisis, and paired with it, the social and moral crisis, dehumanization, aggravated selfishness and self-interest, massive unemployment, marginalization of countries and whole groups of people within nations (also in developed countries), unpayable debt (which includes the country issuing the money where much of the debt is contracted), climate change caused by the global warming, and massive migration crisis that has developed into a more threatening crisis of civilization, which shall be rejected.

There is no doubt we live and we are going to live in a world characterized by uncertainty and the aporia that it won´t get to normal due to the main impacts of the anthropological crisis triggered by the systemic crisis and the pandemic, but they do not know how to do it after the proven failure of the capitalist, neoliberal, and globalizing system. But we know how and what to do, which is written and well-founded in already approved documents, which allow us to retrofit them and adapt ourselves to the “new normal” without losing sight of what Fidel taught us.

For that future, we are counting on what we have already achieved as we do not follow the patterns of the liberal and neoliberal capitalist model. On the contrary, we follow the patterns of the active involvement of the socialist state, fundamental not only in the fight against the pandemic when it worked together with science, but also in everything that made possible such involvement.

It should be recalled that today´s achievements started in 1961 with the Literacy Campaign, the scholarship plan that followed and the efforts made, under the leadership, guide, and direct involvement of Fidel even in the darkest hours, when we began to mold our human potential — we wrongly name it human capital in socialism —, which allows us to lay the scientific and technological foundations necessary in our development process, which always included our health system and its rapport with biotechnology, and more recently, computing science, nanotechnology and robotics, maintaining Cuba at the forefront of expertise, science, technology, and innovation worldwide.  

And if Fidel had stated in 1960 that “the future of our nation shall be necessarily a future of men of science, a future of men of thought as it is precisely what we are encouraging,” in 2003 he expressed: “this country will depend, basically, on its knowledge production. Although the nation will not depend exclusively on that, the production emanating from its science will actually increase.” That is our future, and we are heading that way.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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