18 July 2008

Common Communist Miscommunications

I have to admit that I didn’t pay too much attention to the daily communist indoctrination while I was being rewarded with my free “education” in Fidel’s schools growing up.

But I did get the gist of it. The people this, and the people that. Everything was owned by the people, (el pueblo), and for the people. I remember being confused because “el pueblo” owned everything, but nobody had anything. Pueblo is one of those rare words in Spanish that can mean two things: the people and a town so in my 6 year old mind, I figured that there was a town, (pueblo), somewhere that owned everything and I wanted to go there. Badly.

My father set me straight like only a Cuban father would. He told me not to be an idiot-Castro owned everything. They didn’t teach “Building your child’s Self Esteem 101 at Cuban father school, but Lesson learned: People means Fidel. Substitute Fidel for people and you had the truth. It worked for other countries as well like Mao’s Republic of China.

Anyway, what reminded me of my first grade communist epiphany was an article in the AP, Associated Parrots, informing the world that Raúl Castro was allowing the people to farm some government land.

HAVANA (AP) — Communist officials decreed Friday that private farmers and cooperatives can use up to 100 acres (40 hectares) of idle government land, as president Raul Castro works to revive Cuba's floundering agricultural sector.

Government land? Hold the new cell phone…..

The people own the land. That was the point of that blessed “reforma agraria” that they wouldn’t stop telling us about in school. It was all about Fidel taking the land away from the rich exploiters of the people and giving it to the people.

I was confused yet again.

I was going to call the old man, but I didn’t want to get called an idiot. Besides, there’s a whole bunch of people waiting in line to call me an idiot these days without me having to go looking for it. So, I kept reading….

Ownership will stay with the state. Private farmers can get concessions of up to 10 years, renewable for another 10. Cooperatives and companies can have renewable 25-year terms. And all will have to pay taxes for the lands, though the decree gave no details

It certainly sounds like the land is owned by the “state”. So I guess that in Cuba’s communism, property isn’t really owned in common by the people, it’s owned by the state-the regime as I call them. Another epiphany. They had lied to me about common ownership in communism.

But the same general principle I learned in first grade still applies. All you have to do is substitute Castro with the “state” and it works.

Castro is the state and he owns everything.


Anonymous said...

Castro is the state.

marc in calgary

Jungle Mom said...

Sad but true, eh?