Sat with my tea, after a long days toil, I decided to watch the news and catch up on the days events. One story in particular riled me more than any other, even more than Rob Andrews refusal to quit. There was a five minute package on what a terrible place Cuba is under the Castro's. Being a man on a low income, living in the UK, I found this particular package almost laughable to the point that it was borderline propaganda. Some filthy stinking rich Tory scum International Development Minister then came on and continued the tirade against Cuba calling the Castro's "tyrants". The question I wanted to pose to this revolting tory was "are the Cuban people liberated from most of the misery that afflicts most of the people of the third world?" The answer to that would be yes, people in Havana live longer than people in Washington DC and they receive free education from primary school to PhD. But all this particular minister cared about was the fact that the people of Cuba couldn't vote. But we all know that Tories and capitalists in general don't recognise health, longevity and free education as basic human rights. All they care about is that we turn up every four years and endorse their antiquated political system. Elections in the UK are more like the Oscars.
I firmly believe that if it were not for the 50 years of siege, assassination attempts and invasions, from the United States, then democracy could have been achieved in Cuba. The United States has done everything it could to destroy the Cuban Revolution, the CIA has made 600 known attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro. America have done this precisely because Cuba is an inspiration to the poor of the world. So Washington is to blame to the absence of democracy in Cuba. Because sadly when a nation like Cuba is under constant threat, like Britain was during WW2, democracy has to be suspended in favour of a stable government. There were no elections in Britain between 1935 and 1945, British political parties did not fight each other throughout the course of WW2. Cuba, like Britain during WW2, has a rather powerfull and aggressive country that has a proven track record of kicking the shit out smaller countries, right on its door step. The United States is a mere 75 miles from Cuba and has been trying to destroy the Cuban and the Revolution for over 50 years and thus universal suffrage has been suspended. Also if one analyses the current political climate of Latin America it would appear that the only way to get elected is to profess admiration of Fidel Castro and opposition to capitalism and US foreign policy (see Hugo Chavez, the worlds most popular politician).
However, despite the fact that Fidel is no longer President, I firmly believe that Socialism will survive, the free health service will survive, free education will survive and the Cuban Revolution will survive. In spite of pro-capitalist propaganda Cuba will continue to be an inspiration to the poor of the world, and Fidel will always be an icon to people who want liberation from bone the grinding poverty and back breaking toil which has been inflicted upon them by a brutal and opressive capitalist system. Anyway, until next time comrades. Peace and Love!
Thursday, 3 November 2011
Libertarianism, if it be the promotion of individual liberty and individual responsibility, is neither left nor right. In the British context it is neither Conservative nor Labour. It is not, essentially, about a political form at all but rather the removal of 'politics', of controlling power and coercion, in the life of the individual. (If only the directors of the now almost deceased Libertarian Party had embraced that!)
Insofar as the Conservative Party has its roots, and demonstrates its adherence to those roots, in the old aristocracy that ruled and controlled day to day life, it is anti libertarian. However in the 21st Century, and in much of the 20th, it has been Labour that has been the party of centralised control and intervention in the daily lives of the people.
In fact the Conservatives of Thatcher would probably have had more in common with the Whigs of old, and the Labour control-freaks and micro managers more with the old control-centred Tories of two centuries ago.
For the last 50 years or so both parties have indeed been different flavour of the same stuff. Today even, Cameron is less conservative than Blair was when he came to 'power', which he did by appealing to the popularity of conservative sentiment in the voters more effectively than the 'depleted-Conservatives' did in 1997.
During the 20 or so years before Labour's return under Blair, and for some years after, freedom did regain that bit of a breathing space because individuals within the Conservative Party had seen the individualistic beliefs they held dear, as well as simple, survivable reality, being dangerously eroded under old Labour. The changes in sentiment the Conservatives introduced after being elected in 1979 were not eradicated by New Labour until the collective public memory of why the Conservatives had been voted in had been obfuscated, re-written, and had faded. To repeat, the policies did not hit the buffers, the Party did after it abandoned those policies.
And now the forces that rolled back centralised control have been largely contained and neutralised and that breathing space for freedom is closing up very, very fast. The spirit of centralised controlled as exemplified previously by the USSR rides again with a whole new dimension on totalitarian terror from a different quarter; out of the Middle East and Middle Ages.
Politics is a shifting game and will always be open to deception. It is inherently dishonest being as it is, about power, and the manipulation, coercion and control of others.
Further, all too often one sees political debate revelling in tricks of thought and speech rather than with substance. It's about winning rather than addressing the truth.
However it would seem there would be more hope to promote libertarian agendas within the Conservative Party than within Labour. There is a spirit that has flourished from time to time amongst some of those in the Conservative Party that is far more libertarian than could ever be expected in Labour, unless that party were to go beyond the robust addressing of reality that occurred during Blair's first few years in power, and that probably actually came from Alistair Campbell, whatever his world view, and Labour actually seriously committed itself to the truth.
Self reliance, responsibility for one's self and actions, is far more in keeping with those who have built the nation rather than those who have used it to fund themselves, their programmes and their Utopian hopes