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Zeke

Fidel Castro (Capitalist Democracy vs Socialism)

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Though I havn't posted in 9 months I would simply like to send my best wishes to the Dictator of Cuba.

 

Yes he is a dictator and yes he does abuse his power yet overal he has done great things for the Cuban People. He is sick as the momment and has just undergone surgery let us hope El Presidente of Republica de Cuba gets well soon! Because without Castro Cuba would be screwed. Besides..don't we long to see him come up on stage and make a fool of himself talking about the glorious revolution...you must have some smpathy for the man and you must admire him for he has stayed in power for 47 years a great accomplishment!

 

I would smirk to see him come back fighting.

 

Senator Zeke, the main Polythestic Represenative who doesn't have a voice at the momment. :)

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I suppose stability has its merits, but oppression should never be commended whatever its veiled benefits. Unfortunately his death will probably not end the oppression of the Cuban people, but at least his particular reign will be over.

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Yes, try to publicly express dissent in Cuba the way you are free to do so elsewhere and see what happens. I have plenty of criticism for the current state of the U.S. but at least I am able to voice my opinion without consequence and I feel that there is some way I can make a difference. If I didn't think so, I would leave. Why are there so many Cubans in Miami? There were not so many in the 50's.

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Had the U.S. done what Pres. Truman said he would have, i.e., invited Castro to the White House and given him a bath, shave and haircut, things might very well have gone differently. Or in the words of the Godfather (may he rest in peace), keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Or in the words of Arafat, who should I talk to but my enemy?

 

During the glorious sergeant Batista years, criminals of all stripes - gangsters, First National City Bank, the American Fruit Co., the King Ranch and their own home grown oligarchs had Batista, (the one put in power by the U.S.), in their thrall and kept the overwhelming majority of the people in peonage. Education of any sort, including Moonlapse's variety, was non-existent, save for that bit provided by the Roman Catholic Church. Medicine was the province of the rich and only the rich. Where would anyone get the time or garner the wits or give a rat's tail to care about politics if he labored most of the day; didn't have a bar of soap, a light bulb or God forbid, a book? When rice and beans (at best) were his sustenance? This was the 'freedom' and 'liberty' he was supposed to lay his life down for?

 

(Is the U.S. policy a fight for freedom and liberty or the return of the above criminals' sequesterd properties?)

 

But, we all know, they rallied round the Batista gang and valiantly were subjugating the scoundrel Castro, when Kruschev, who didn't give a tinker's damn about Castro, intervened and set the Devil up on the throne. Batista and his clique, as we all know, fought for their freedom and liberty to the last man. Or was that just long enough to fill their trunks with gold and head off to Miami? This mouldy, greedy lot of louts and cowards are favourably compared to the Minute Men!

 

Today, Cuba has more doctors per capita than any other nation on Earth. Literacy is a hair short of 100%. The polloi don't go without the necessities of life. Perhaps, Fidel's dictatorship is what was needed to take the unwashed out of bondage - out of the bondage imposed by the prior U.S. approved dictators. If Dr. Castro murdered his political opponents, was he any different from his predecessors?

 

Cuba is lacking, but we subsidize our sugar growers in Florida, in the interests of free trade and the Cuban exile vote. We trade with our former arch-enemies, Russia, China and Viet-Nam but not our neighbor. Perhaps if Cuba were dependent on our trade things wouldn't be in the soup.

 

Does all this add up to Fidel being a saint? Of course not. A little Christian charity would go a long way though. Or to put it another way, 'mind your own business'! (A quaint liberal capitalist idea.)

 

Since I speak of Christianity, I take leave to state that after the Spanish-American War, the island was divided into seven Protestant districts, one each for each approved sect. This, so that the Catholics could be converted to a U.S. government approved faith.

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Cuba is lacking, but we subsidize our sugar growers in Florida, in the interests of free trade and the Cuban exile vote. We trade with our former arch-enemies, Russia, China and Viet-Nam but not our neighbor. Perhaps if Cuba were dependent on our trade things wouldn't be in the soup.

 

Perhaps, but Castro is and/or has been a brutal dictator, regardless of any role any other nation may have played in not helping to subvert his iron fisted rule. Would the "wall' fall with more open trade? Possibly, but he could openly allow free elections along with a host of other basic civil rights of his own volition and has chosen not too. The oppression of his people is because he and his party have oppressed them, nobody else.

 

Who provides the statistics for Cuban literacy and medical health and other bits of the great society propoganda? Castro and the communist party.

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P.P.:

 

Perhaps he is concerned about the possibilities of certain parties funding the opposition's efforts and working a snow-job.

Perhaps it's none of our business.

Perhaps we should take a care of our own democracy. Then go after tthe worlds dictators. Do we have enough boots to go around?

 

Would statistics from the UN be acceptable?

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I'm just hoping the U.S. doesn't get involved in any changes that occur there, which is probably futile since Bush has already set an 80 million dollar budget to 'foster democracy' in Cuba. Last I knew, my democracy consisted of listening to someone on NPR say 'Democrat' and 'Republican' probably 37 times in the span of 15 minutes and then submitting a vote to a horribly designed machine inside of a Christian church.

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I remember when Fidel Castro tripped over that chair. I feel rather sorry for him and his regime. Since he is no longer a pupped for the USSR he has been useless. Just staying there without any support being the only western nation that is Communist.

 

I think that when and if he dies, his regime will die with him. That is if the new government does not intervene quickly. Like what happened in Iran.

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Well...look I love Democracy and the whole idea. But from a true historical standpoint one must except that some of the greatest Empires and cultural achievers on the planet have been dictatorships.

 

I admire Rome so much..and I would accually love to live in that time period. But it was a dictatorship by sometimes ruthless emperors.

Thats why nowadays I don't like the idea of people using the word Democracy so freely. What is really a Democracy? I believe that almost all the nations on this Earth now are runned by Oligrachies of Rich men.

 

Who ever raises more money is more likely to win an election and rich men have a slight advantage over everyone else. They got to go to college and were all lawyers. While working class people its much harder for them to rise to power. Maybe Andrew Jackson was one of the few who rose to power yet....really how good did he do? I mean he forced a bunch of Indians to move to reservations.

 

I contenst that we as Historians cannot say that Democracy is better. Of coarse everyone likes it, but we must also accept that not every society will be one. Cuba is currently one of those societies and a great example of where a dictatorship can be tolerated as benificial to a great majority of people. North Korea is an example of a dictatorship that is not benificial and has done almost nothing to improve the lives of the populance.

 

So...we can compare and contrast Castro's regime... but I think we need to be neutral and yes I admit I wasn't very neutral in starting this post. But yeah.

 

-Zeke

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I won't dispute that the most efficient and 'successful' societies were the work of 'the few' so to speak. Consistent focus on a particular ideology will naturally get results if designed and executed well enough.

 

However, this is the realm of hegemonies - doing whatever it takes to gain the upper hand and secure global dominance. I'm sure everyone knows about the current players in this ancient game:

 

The reigning champion - the 'West' - headed by the U.S.A., a country initially intended as a historically unique haven of liberty. The problem, IMO, was that the role of government was not explicitely limited and that legislature was incredibly prone to economics. This was an ideal mix for idealogues to patiently change the paradigm over the course of the nineteenth century. Democracy is in the backseat, and the primary concern is to defend the title.

 

The contenders - fundamentalist Islam and China.

 

China, whose global prominence dates back thousands of years, was temporarily subdued by the West in the Opium Wars. Careful planning and high levels of government control have once again made the West their dependents. Outsourcing from the West has provided them with a techincal back to leapfrog over, and soon they will become a source of innovation. Their military capability is probably grossly underrated by your average American and they see our yellow ribbons as a sign of national weakness and unwillingness to fight.

 

Similar to the way that China has learned the Wests economics and has exploited its weaknesses, so fundamentalist Islam has been given direct military training and they have in turn been exploiting military weaknesses. This originated with the attempts to preserve our supply of good ol' oil that fueled so much of our complacency.

 

Anyways... my point is... You may dream of living under an ancient and successfully dominant dictatorship, but I don't want to be involved in the same old primitive crap. I want to be able to focus on my life and the place I live in, without some zealots with official titles to steer the rudder of the country I live in, in an attempt to gain global dominance. Thats why I say screw politicans, dictators, whatever you want to call them. Protect me and my rights and forget the great social experiments.

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One thing I'll give Castro - I like his sense of humor. When Reagan promised free asylum to any Cuban citizen who fled the country, and Castro opened the prisons and mental wards and sent them across the ocean - yeah, that was beautiful.

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Senator Zeke, the main Polythestic Represenative .

 

 

So Pertinax, Pantagathus, Lost Warrior and myself are chopped liver? :P

 

BTW, if this posts means you're finally back, then welcome back.

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Well...look I love Democracy and the whole idea. But from a true historical standpoint one must except that some of the greatest Empires and cultural achievers on the planet have been dictatorships.

 

This is NOT a "true historical standpoint"; it is your opinion. Since I spend almost all of my time on this forum disputing this very thesis, perhaps you'd care to list the cultural acheivements of the dictatorships? As far as I can tell, almost all of the lasting cultural innovations of the Greco-Roman world were developed by the free people of the ancient world--those living under the republics of Rome, Carthage, and the democracy of Athens. In contrast, the backward monarchies like Egypt and the communistic states like Sparta--while rising higher than the disorganized tribal societies that preceded them--sponged off the cultural innovations of the free societies with whom they competed, but they never surpassed them in their innovations.

 

Cuba is currently one of those societies and a great example of where a dictatorship can be tolerated as benificial to a great majority of people.

 

Bloody hell! If this were true, then the political prisons would be empty, the execution chambers dusty, and the borders open. If the great majority of people really loved life in Cuba, then why not permit free emigration as every civilized society does? The answer is obvious--communism in Cuba has been the same failure it is everywhere, and given the chance, many many Cubans would gladly change places with any disgruntled American who wished to do so.

 

In my view, nothing about human nature has changed in the past 3000 years--innovation still requires the freedom to produce and profit from one's innovations, and because these innovations are a threat to every dictator, they have always done what they could to slice the head off of any with even the potential to question their power.

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Cuba for the Cubans..Universal health care, education, no starvation..Comunism doesn't work? I agree that it doesn't but Fidel's brand HAS worked for Cuba..They haven't produced Nobel prize winners, invented anything substantial to my knowlege but the 3 things I've listed aren't worth it for those that have it? The likelyhood they would have them without Castro is slim. For the most part totalitarianism is gay, yes MPC I'm no fan of it! :P

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...

In my view, nothing about human nature has changed in the past 3000 years--innovation still requires the freedom to produce and profit from one's innovations, and because these innovations are a threat to every dictator, they have always done what they could to slice the head off of any with even the potential to question their power.

 

I generally agree with you on this MPC.

 

Frankly I'm rather stunned at the level of antagonism given to the idea of democracy, especially liberal democracy, on this forum. I find nothing romantic about the notion of dictatorship, even a benevolent one. Making the trains 'run on time' is a poor argument for the loss of individual freedom. Even 'dictatorships of the proletariat' have been no such thing and have ended up substituting one small elite for another--hence the human nature of politics has remained the same.

 

Not allowing a pluralism in the field of political ideas or an individual's right to freedom of expression is repugnant to me and while an interest in a historical era is one thing, espousing a belief in the efficacy of their political structure as some sort of success to be emulated or even admired as an alternative is quiet another.

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