When a friend leaves us… Remembering Grady Ross Daugherty

Grady was a dear soul and committed to the welfare of all. (Alan Schmidt, a mutual friend)

Grady Ross Daugherty

By Vicente Morin Aguado

HAVANA TIMES — On July 30, Grady Ross Daugherty, a HT reader and supportive anarchist, bid us farewell. In February 2013, Grady had given Havana Times an interview which focused on cooperatives as one of the ways to save Cuba’s badly damaged socialism.

Our friend came to visit our country on several occasions, his most recent visit was last year. His optimism for Cuba’s future diminished markedly in the face of the country’s current reality.

In our 2013 interview, the following statement stands out: “Marx and Engels instilled prejudice against private property, pointing to it as a cause of society’s ills and as something antithetical to their aim of “scientific” socialism. Nevertheless, for cooperatives to be real they require ownership, which supposedly would be “capitalist” – as opposed to state-run or scientific forms like “socialist” ones.”

This subject still haunts us; it’s a misfortune which seems to be unsurmountable for the Cuban Communist Party’s aged leadership. With regard to this, Grady Ross Daugherty, the founder of a “modern cooperative socialist movement” called the US Cooperative Republic, analyzed a key detail which is linked to the country’s budget, which has always been denied out-rightly, of calling the Marxist project “scientific”:

“Thanks for characterizing Cuba’s half-century post-capitalist period as an “experiment.” An experiment is a way of testing a reasonable hypothesis.  If we look at the Cuban model as an experiment, as a modifiable work in progress, its performance can be altered to achieve greater prosperity and progress.”

The four years that passed between this interview and this friend of the Cuban people’s death, have proved him right. Head of State, Raul Castro’s last speech indicates an unshakeable decision to not change the monster they call Socialism.

Alan Schmidt, who shared an encounter with the late anarchist thinker and with myself, recently wrote the following about recent events in Cuba:

“When I was in Cuba, I was optimistic about the expansion of the private sector and cooperatives and of there being a single currency, but that is now impossible. Havana Times writes the truth about life in Cuba.”

Grady was a prolific writer, his works can be found on Google or Amazon. This isn’t an article trying to express our “condolences” because his family shared the pain with the happy peace of mind that he was a valuable person who naturally bid us farewell.

Grady Ross Daugherty will live on in the smile of dignity.

Sending a big hug from Havana Times.

Vicente Morín Aguado:  ememultiplicada@nauta.cu

 

  • Moses Patterson

    May he rest in peace.

  • Doug1943

    In the 1970s, I was in a revolutionary Marxist organization with Grady. Most of us were middle-class lumpen-intelligentsia. Grady was different, and marched to his own drummer. Sorry to see him depart us.