Cuba: Proletariat or PrecariousMay 14, 2014 | Print |
Dmitri Prieto Samsónov
HAVANA TIMES – ¿Proletariat in socialism? Theoretically, there shouldn’t be any proletariat under socialism.
The word proletariat, a term that originated in ancient Rome, historically refers to a class that lacks property and possesses only its offspring. In classic capitalism it’s used for the working class, who according to Karl Marx are free in two ways: as free people (that is, never slaves) and free of property.
The propaganda of the former USSR and the social doctrines developed in that country after the 30s rectified the praises for the “Proletariat State” and set down the guideline that the working class under “Soviet socialism” doesn’t constitute a proletariat. Rather, the working class is “the owner of the fundamental means of production” since the State, theoretically theirs, is the constitutional owner of the factories, workshops, mines, research institutes and large agricultural farms.
In Cuba, however, in contrast to what happened in the USSR, the proletariat is still officially spoken of.
That usage may possibly be more in tune with reality. History proves that wherever the “Socialist state” and its leadership group the bureaucratic nomenklatura have appeared, they have ended up forming an entity that is both alienated from and alienating to the power of those who work.
For that reason there have been so many experiments to “create a sense of belonging for the workers”; for the same reason the criticism from supporters of self-management or anarchists; for that reason the disaster of 1989.
But perhaps the Cuban reality is more complex…