Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Cuba, Marxist Capitalism – and Israel?

July 9, 2012 1:39 pm 3 comments

Cuban President Raul Castro. Photo: wiki commons.

“Marxist capitalism” sounds like a contradiction in terms.  Marx felt that capitalism was doomed.  It would be replaced by the inevitable final stage of communism, when there would be no more economic inequality and therefore no disagreement among people.  Since the final stage of communism has not yet arrived anywhere in the world, Marxist leaders try to enforce thought control as a way to end any form of disagreement.

Nevertheless, China has adopted Marxist capitalism—a system that combines thought control with a measure of economic freedom.  China is very much committed to the idea of wealth, and consequently, China is doing business with any number of non-Marxist countries, even including Israel.

Cuba seems ready to follow the same route.  Raul Castro has gone to China.  According to a news story in the July 5, 2012, edition of China Daily, the country’s official English-language newspaper, “Castro’s Asian visit is geared to learning from China’s experience of development and reform. … Cuba is highly impressed by China’s dynamic economic development.”

Zhao Ziyang, who was Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party between January 16, 1987 and June 23, 1989, created special economic zones in coastal provinces in order to increase productivity, stimulate trade, and make money.  After the Tiananmen Massacre on June 4, Zhao was kept under house arrest for the rest of his life.  His economic policies continue to this day, however.  Economically, China is approaching capitalism; politically, it is still Marxist and is still enforcing thought control.

Raul Castro wants to follow Zhao Ziyang’s economic policies without relaxing thought control.  He visited China in order to increase trade and cooperation, but he also was eager to see how China managed to be Marxist and capitalist at the same time.

China’s current flexibility has extended even as far as Israel.  China and Israel have signed an agreement to build a railroad going from Tel Aviv to Eilat.

Yet China and Israel did not have full diplomatic relations until 1992.  When I was teaching in China way back in 1984, I was asked to give a talk about the history of the Jews at Hebei University.  Before the talk I was asked not to mention the word “Israel” nor to refer to it in any way.  Around the same time, I went to the post office with the young teacher who was serving as my interpreter. I had a letter addressed to my cousin in Israel, and I asked how much the postage was.

“There is no such country,” said the postal employee.

“Then how do I send this letter there?” I asked.

Ba mao“ (8 dimes), she answered.

I bought a stamp and sent the letter. It arrived.  This anecdote suggests that even in 1984 China’s rejection of Israel was not total.

Ever since the Asian-African Conference held at Bandung, Indonesia, in 1955, there has been a de facto Marxist-Islamic Alliance opposed to democracy and Israel.  Today, this alliance survives as the axis of Iran, Venezuela, and North Korea—all committed to the destruction of Israel.  It is also reflected among leftists, not necessarily Marxists, who are engaged in the BDS Movement.  China has freed itself from this alliance, although at the UN it still votes against Israel.  Now that Cuba is opening up to Marxist capitalism, will we see a change in Cuba’s rejection of Israel’s right to exist?

Fidel Castro, who is no longer in power, was interviewed by Jeffrey Goldberg in 2010.  During the interview, Fidel said that Israel had the right to exist as a Jewish state, without a doubt.

Does Marxism have to be anti-Israel?  Marx obviously couldn’t have said anything about the subject, since he died in 1883, before the publication of Theodore Herzl’s book Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State).  What we do know, however, is that Marx hated the Jews.  He also hated civil society, which he linked to the existence of the Jews.  In his “On the Jewish Question,” Marx wrote, “It is from its own entrails that civil society ceaselessly engenders the Jew.”  I assume that Fidel Castro does not agree.

Why didn’t Castro’s statement to Goldberg get more publicity?  Did his brother Raul disagree?  Did the United States tell Israel not to get too close to Cuba?  That seems unlikely, since it would certainly be in America’s interest if Israel were not the most hated country on earth.  Did Cuba’s ally, Venezuela, tell the Castros not to go too far?  I find it curious that Fidel’s statement did not affect the nature of Cuba’s—and the Left’s—attitude to Israel.

Does Raul’s trip to China mark the beginning of a new era in Cuban flexibility?  Will it extend to Israel?  We can only hope.

3 Comments

  • It is often for myself discouraging to compose an article and perceive it unread ….. Your above well written article connects back also to other figures in history , the hate filled half Jewish Adolf …and before him the traitor Josephus ….and before him traitorous others and after him traitorous others like Marx . Many…. having Jewish blood in their veins and on their hands …and lots of it .
    I once talked with a Rabbis widow a few decades ago and she asked why so many things befell the Jews . She said suprisingly she believed the Jewish people had indeed unknowingly rejected their Messiah …Jesus…so long ago ! The Jewish people will embrace then endure a last powerful traitor ( a false Savior )before they will be ready to return spiritually to God ….to weep for rejecting their only Savior ..Jesus whom they crucified. I pray you will be with the true Savior …with all the decendents of Abraham …by saving faith …one day in heaven !

  • It seems that anyone is allowed to write an article and present it as truth without regard for facts

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Music Coldplay Begins Concert With Broadcast of Charlie Chaplin’s Iconic Speech in ‘The Great Dictator’

    Coldplay Begins Concert With Broadcast of Charlie Chaplin’s Iconic Speech in ‘The Great Dictator’

    British rock band Coldplay started its set at the Glastonburg Festival on Sunday by broadcasting excerpts of the iconic speech Charlie Chaplin delivered in The Great Dictator, the 1940 political satire in which the famous filmmaker/movie star played a Jewish barber. “I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone,” Chaplin begins his address. “I should like to help everyone, if possible, Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Two Decades Before Cleveland’s First NBA Title, LeBron James Walked Onto a JCC Court

    Two Decades Before Cleveland’s First NBA Title, LeBron James Walked Onto a JCC Court

    JNS.org – The seed for the city of Cleveland’s first professional championship in a major sport in 52 years may have been planted at the Shaw Jewish Community Center on White Pond Drive in Akron, Ohio, nearly 20 years ago. That’s when a tall, lanky kid from Akron named LeBron James walked onto the hardwood court and changed the game of basketball forever. Coach Keith Dambrot, now the head basketball coach at the University of Akron, conducted those sessions that attracted […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs North American Studios Look to Israel for Next Animation Hit

    North American Studios Look to Israel for Next Animation Hit

    JNS.org – In 2008, Yoram Honig was a producer and director living in Jerusalem, fresh off his first international hit, when the Jerusalem Development Authority (JDA) came to him with a challenge: build a film industry from scratch in Israel’s capital. “When we started here, was nothing in Jerusalem,” he said during an interview in his office in the Talbiya neighborhood. Now, the Jerusalem Film and Television Fund, which Honig heads as an arm of the JDA, pumps 9 million shekels […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas to Wear Leotard With Hebrew Letters in National Competition

    Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas to Wear Leotard With Hebrew Letters in National Competition

    Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas will wear a leotard bearing Hebrew lettering when she competes at the P&G Gymnastics Championships over the weekend. Douglas’ Swarovski-outlined outfit will feature the Hebrew word “Elohim,” meaning God, on its left sleeve. The Hebrew detailing honors the athlete’s “rich heritage of faith,” according to apparel manufacturer GK Elite, which produced the leotard and released a preview of it on Wednesday. The company said Douglas’ sister, Joyelle “Joy” Douglas, created the Hebrew design. The outcome of the P&G Championships will help […]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports British World Heavyweight Champion Should Be Banned From Boxing for Sounding Like Hitler, Says Ukrainian Competitor

    British World Heavyweight Champion Should Be Banned From Boxing for Sounding Like Hitler, Says Ukrainian Competitor

    Britain’s world heavyweight champion, Taylor Fury, should be banned from boxing for making Nazi-like comments, a former world champion from the Ukraine said on Thursday, ahead of their upcoming match. “I was in shock at his statements about women, the gay community, and when he got to the Jewish people, he sounded like Hitler,” Wladimir Klitschko told British media, according to Reuters. “We cannot have a champion like that. Either he needs to be shut up or shut down in the ring, or […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Rabbi Shows Cooking Skills and Humor on Chopped

    Rabbi Shows Cooking Skills and Humor on Chopped

    Rabbi Hanoch Hecht just made television history; but, unfortunately, he couldn’t have his rugelach and eat it too. Hecht became the first rabbi to compete on the hit show “Chopped,” where contestants are forced to use four random ingredients in their recipes, and have 20-30 minutes to create an appetizer, a main course and a dessert. A contestant is eliminated after each round. Hecht, 32, said that while the dishes and utensils were new, the kitchen was not kosher, so he couldn’t taste […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Music Orthodox Entertainer Stars in Pepsi Max Commercial as New Face of Company’s Israel Campaign (VIDEO)

    Orthodox Entertainer Stars in Pepsi Max Commercial as New Face of Company’s Israel Campaign (VIDEO)

    Orthodox singer and entertainer Lipa Schmeltzer is starring in a new Pepsi Max commercial for the company’s campaign in Israel. The commercial begins with a bunch of Jewish men eating at a restaurant, when Schmeltzer walks in and tries to decide what to order. An employee at the obviously Israeli eatery offers him a variety of foods, but the entertainer in the end decides on a bottle of Pepsi. Everyone in the restaurant then joins him, drinking Pepsi Max and dancing to […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Book Reviews Jewish Author’s ‘Messy’ Draft Transforms Into Rock Star Novel on Amazon

    Jewish Author’s ‘Messy’ Draft Transforms Into Rock Star Novel on Amazon

    JNS.org – “Writing is a messy process,” says author Elizabeth Poliner. “People who don’t write fiction would be surprised to see what early drafts could look like.” But readers wouldn’t know “what a mess it was for the longest time,” as the Jewish author puts it, when reading Poliner’s critically acclaimed latest book, As Close to Us as Breathing. The volume garnered Amazon’s “Best Book” designation in March 2016 as well as rave reviews from the New York Times,W Magazine, NPR, […]

    Read more →