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Cuban socialists no longer believe in Marx... but they can't let him go

A deputy minister of Economy and Planning in the regime recently stated that companies lack a figure functioning as an owner.

La Habana
Statues of Karl Marx.
Statues of Karl Marx. AERO

If there is one idea that defines Marxism, it is that owners are evil people who, without contributing anything in return, parasitize the toiling working class through surplus value, which is why it is not only justified, but imperative to eliminate them, wresting from them what they have so that property is "social;" that is, the government's, i.e. socialist.

This economic and philosophical notion posits the ownership of the means of production by all the people as a more efficient and just model than the capitalist one, something explicitly included in the last Cuban Constitution. This idea has justified all the abuses of private property and individual freedom committed wherever socialism, invariably through violence, has been instituted as a model.

Now the deputy minister of Economy and Planning Johana Odriozola (a daughter of senior officials at  the Ministry of the Interior, which, together with her cold cynicism, augurs a bright future for her in Castroism) has stated that one of the reasons socialist state enterprises have not worked well is because "we have not had a figure, in the institutional designs, that functions as an owner. It is diluted in certain global ministries, branches and government boards." She added: "This is one of the issues we are working on, and, if approved, would constitute an important institutional change in the country."

Astounding. This is truly amazing, as the deputy minister has actually recognized that the Marxists who govern us know that the socialist property model does not work, and that the owner's role is important because they add value to the productive process. This debunks the idea that surplus value is theft and, thus, overturns the entire Marxist framework.

The deputy minister has demonstrated confidence in the Cuban socialist system, however, by pointing out that in the last two years state companies posting losses have dropped from 500 to 278, even while acknowledging that there are 309 other companies with profits on sales of less than two cents. Two cents! The deputy minister herself  recognizes that these companies are "miraculously static," as they could easily incur losses, due to the slightest complication.

What Odriozola does not recognize, however, is the regime's "achievement" of managing for so many companies to stop reporting losses was not because the system is working, but because those companies are paying their workers less and less, as the socialists who govern us are devaluing the national currency.

The reality is that this system is so defective that, even after two years during which these socialists have subjected Cuba to a "neoliberal" blitzkrieg,  more than 30% of state companies (counting the traditional ones and not the small, newly created subsidiaries) are still inviable.

The socialists who govern us are not worried about this, because, as Odriozola explains, the reason for so much inefficiency is that "there are companies losing money due to plans implemented in the country whose objective is for the final price not to rise despite the increase in the cost of many supplies." Huh?

Well, according to Johana Odriozola, there are situations where "to protect the population, the company assumes the increase in costs, and does not raise its rates." The company assumes them? But, aren't companies owned by the people, according to the socialists who govern us? So, if the company is owned by the people, then isn't it the people who are assuming the loss? This socialist approach is certainly a strange way to protect the population...

Having business losses means that expenses are greater than revenues. When the company is private, the owner covers the losses with his own funds. But, what happens when the company is owned by the people? Exactly the same thing: the "owner" (in this case, the people) puts up what is missing out of its pocket. But, as in the socialist system the people's pockets are managed by the government, they do not even know how much they have, or how much is being taken from them, on top of which they are supposed to thank the ruling socialists for "protecting the population."

Isn't socialism here —and wherever it has been applied— just an excuse for mass robbery and the oppression of those who stand up to those claiming to be putting socialism into effect… while the elite lives as bourgeois millionaires?

Although the socialists in charge seem to have realized, fortunately, that Marxism is hogwash, unfortunately for us, whom they govern, they are not going to return what they stole. Nor are they going to step aside, apologizing for decades of "errors" and horrors. Rather, they are going to invent, in an upcoming Companies Law that they are cooking up, the position of "fictitious owner" for state companies, so that they can hoard the entire population’s property.

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