author photo

Erasmo Calzadilla: I find it difficult to introduce myself in public. I've tried many times but it doesn’t flow. I’m more less how I appear in my posts, add some unpresentable qualities and stir; that should do for a first approach. If you want to dig a little deeper, ask me for an appointment and wait for a reply.

A Philosopher Favors Cuba’s Annexation to the USA

January 13, 2014 | Print Print |

Erasmo Calzadilla

Photo: Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES – Alexis Jardines is a Cuban professor of philosophy who immigrated a few years ago to the United States. I met him in Havana some years before and we had some conversations, not always so pleasant.

On political matters Jardines was an uncompromising hard line and apparently still is.

In his latest article “La Cuba postcapitalista” (Post-capitalist Cuba) the philosopher “explains” why Cuba should be annexed to the US. Let’s have a look. Much of the text, maybe half, is devoted to “refute” the anti-plattistas (anti-annexationists).

He doesn’t use rational arguments, as we should expect from a thinker, but instead the weapons of a demagogic ideologue: offense, discrediting and half-truths.Alexis drops a heavy rain of insults and slander on those who do not oppose annexation. He associates them with the “revolutionaries” (pro-Castro and communist), he calls them nationalist crowds, barking dogs and undemocratic, who not accept the criteria of others (i.e. the annexationists).

He says they are outdated, medieval, anti–integrationist and totalitarians who put the brakes on freedom, thought and creativity. He further accuses them of instilling hatred, being responsible for functional illiteracy and the digital divide, and even incompetent and responsible for Cuba being on the side of the losers.

Jardines further claims that many of the anti-plattistas are actually closet annexation supporters.

He presents all this wrapped in a philosophical atmosphere peppered with bombastic and enigmatic statements such as this jewel: “Just as we cannot go against nature we cannot go against culture.”

But that’s OK, thinkers are that way, sometimes so passionate they lose the knack, which we can forgive them if they provide something interesting. So what does Alexis Jardines contribute in this article? How does a philosopher argue the convenience of Cuba being annexed to the United Sates?

Alexis Jardines. Photo: eichikawa.com

I’ll try to summarize it:

The world is on track to globalization, multiculturalism, democracy and freedom. The engine for such marvels is technology, the dominant form of culture and foundation on which the Knowledge Society is built.

At the forefront of this process is the USA, “a great country that has become a new type of state: multicultural, democratic and post-national.” Where “everyone fits” because it is no longer so American or so capitalist.”

And the party is all happening only a stone’s throw away. However the recalcitrant Cuban anti-plattistas, in their provincial stubbornness, won’t let the Cinderella go to the dance and be kissed by the prince.

But their efforts are in vain because it is absolutely impossible to want to preserve the forms of the previous culture. Or, in other words, it is better that Cuba relax and enjoy because the die are already cast.

End of my synthesis.

I would say Alexis choked with the worst of Post-modernism.

If this is not pure meta-narrative, ideology and makeup to power relations, could someone explain to me what it is? Moreover, beyond the philosophical cloud, his arguments are so simple they seem taken from a cartoon strip. It’s scary to hear them spoken from the mouth of a thinker.


What's your opinion?

  • Moses Patterson

    Who says 300+ million Americans want Cuba as the 51st. state? I seriously doubt that both Houses of Congress and 2/3 of all State Legislatures would vote to add Cuba to the Union. The whole ‘Manifest Destiny’ thing is dead and buried. We barely want Texas, there is little chance we would take a poor, corrupt, economically-bankrupt, non-English speaking Cuba. Besides, we have Puerto Rico as a US territory. That’s enough for now.

    • John Goodrich

      the 300+ citizens of the U.S . have no say in the actions and policies of their government so whether or not they want to annex Cuba is moot .
      That said, as we have seen in the trumped-up, lie filled case made for the disastrous invasion of Iraq, the U.S. public can be sold smallpox and think it’s a gift from God.

      • Moses Patterson

        Just because the US government does not do your political bidding does not mean the other 120 million voters have no say. You may not like the choices put up by the two major parties but at least there is a choice. Cubans have had no choice for 55 years.

        • Johnnycakes21@berizon.net

          Let me repeat what should be obvious to you but is not because you choose not to believe it as is demonstrative of your willful ignorance of a great many things:
          1. No person running for national office can do so successfully without massive funding from the .0001% .
          Public funding is grossly insufficient to win a national election campaign .
          2. Any candidate who secures that necessary funding is automatically nominated by each of the twin parties of capitalism . Nomination by the parties of anyone other than these pre-selected candidates of the wealthy would guarantee an election loss which neither party will risk .
          3. The choice of two bribed candidates , each heavily indebted to their legal bribers is not what the designers of the republic had in mind and , in reality, represent no choice as far as representing the interests of the electorate .
          Given these circumstances, certainly neither candidate serves my democratic ideals.
          Bu to limit that colossal failure of representation as a problem only to me as you did , is a diversionary debating tactic that won’t fly.
          The U.S system is no less totalitarian in its effects on democracy than is the Cuban system.
          The difference is that all the Cubans know that their government is totalitarian while , like you, most people in the U.S . fail to identify and define the institutions that govern their lives as effectively totalitarian

    • Griffin

      There’s isn’t a large body of support for Puerto Rico becoming at state yet. The idea of annexing Cuba died 50 or 60 or 70 years ago. There is zero political will do do so today.

  • John Goodrich

    This philosopher needs to made aware that the U.S follows the precepts of democracy about as much as Moses Patterson follows the precepts of Christ.
    A democracy literally is translated as ‘rule of the people ” .
    The U.S. is a solid oligarchy wherein the wealthy preselect the candidates the electorate is finally allowed to vote for.
    Those candidates receive enormous sums of money necessary to win a national election and serve those wealthy few who bribe them in this fashion and not the majority of the country who voted them in.
    This is an oligarchy: rule of the wealthy or a plutocracy: rule of the powerful (and not rule by Mickey Mouse’s dog as Moses thinks it is.)
    That America is somehow LESS capitalist in this philosophers eyes just boggles .
    The capitalists have come to OWN the government that makes the rules that govern them.
    You cannot get more powerful than that .
    America ( the USA ) spend well over 1trillion per year to make sure that not only America stays as it is but that all weaker nations follow its orders as well .
    This Jardines is as much a philosopher as Armando Valladares ( remember him?) was a poet.

  • emagicmtman

    Jardines sounds like another academic hack trying to make a name for himself by retailing absurd and outrageous ideas. One might ask: who were the first “annexationists?” Anti-Bellum Southern planters and slaveholders who sought to bring Cuba in as a slave state, to counter-balance the “free states” that were being admitted to the Union from the West (then the Ohio Valley and the Upper Mid-West). For a good example of what hapens under such an arranegment, observe Puerto Rico, an example of an unsustainable economy, and whose youth abandon the island with ever-increasing velocity for the metropolis. (Hmmm, sounds a bit like Cuba these days!) Still, Cuba has self respect, and its culture has not YET become completely debased.

  • The Analyst

    Most of the philosophers talk so much trash that they may drown on it. He better try to find a job. Please, do not try to become a politician, we have enough liars in that line of work.