cj#767> Learning from Cuba


Richard Moore

1/31/98, Thomas Griffiths & Euridice Charon-Cardona wrote to wsn:
  >many Cubans note that generally
  >Party membership no longer carries anything like the community respect
  >it once did. Many militants have seen too many "descarados" manage to
  >move through the party not out of revolutionary or moral commitment but
  >as a means of personal advancement.

                         rkm's Law of Organizations

        Every organization, regardless of its original purpose (religious,
        artistic, educational, political, commercial, charitable, etc),
        eventually adopts self-perpetuation and aggrandizement as primary
        objectives.  Internally every organization, no matter its original
        ethos, in the end obeys the usual laws of group sociology, which
        include personal aggrandizement via organizational politics.


There seems to be an exception to this rule in the case of certain kinds of
grass-roots organizations which are light on administration and heavy on
popular participation.  Thus the various popular organizations in Cuba
Assemblies, Mass Organisations, etc) seem to be retaining their democratic
integrity with reasonable robustness.

But the Communist Party, evidently, may be in danger of sliding down the
organizational slippery slope toward becoming an elite corrupted by
self-interest.  If the Cuban structural model is to be recommended for
wider emulation (:>) then perhaps a leadership-cadre organization should be
omitted from the plan.

Why does Cuba have a Communist Party organization?  If it serves useful
purposes, can those be served in another way, one more democratically

I'm talking about _structural_ emulation for the rest of us, by the way,
not a transplantation of Cuban communism.  The revolutionary leadership
cadre in Norway or Canada, for example, might have minimal interest in
marxism.  But _any_ leadership cadre, if given a supporting organization,
is in danger of becoming self-serving.

It might be better for the leaders to be, for example, "unorganized wise
elders".  In sufi tradition, which is acutely aware of "my" organizational
law (I paraphrased it from them), there are no sufi organizations.  Sufi
teachers live regular lives and their spiritual work is done as individuals
and small groups.

Furthermore, emulation of the Cuban model does not require major
consitutional revisions.  Most of the party-political apparatus that
currently oppresses us is a matter of custom, not Constitutional
prescription.  I saw very little in our recent Cuban testimonials that
couldn't be implemented, in essentials, under the US Consitution, for


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