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Central Planning Versus Markets Marxism:
The Cuban Communist Party Confronts
Crisis, Challenge and Change in its 7th
Congr...
Context
• Cuban Communist Party
Congresses
• Context for implementation
• General focus of Vanguard Party and
ruling appar...
The 7th PCC Congress: “Sin Prisa Pero Sin Pausa”
• Return to earlier pattern of
operation
• Fidel Castro’s address
• Offic...
The Focus
• Central Questions:
• Does the 7th PCC Congress mark the return to traditional models of Cuban
Marxist Leninist...
7th Party Congress: “Fear and Loathing;” or Caution and
Incrementalism?
• Overall theme: The Shadow of . . .
• “Fear and L...
The New “Central Planning Marxism”
• Basis for the conceptualization of
reform
• The language that will be used to
underst...
Introducción: Ideological Framework
• Expone las bases teóricas y características esenciales del Modelo Económico y
Soc...
Capítulo 1: Los Principios Que Sustentan El Modelo
• Objective: build a total (an “all around”)Socialist Society: impulsa...
Capítulo 1: Los Principios . . .Y Sus Principales Transformaciones
• 1.2. Transformaciones principales del Modelo ¶¶ 74-1...
Capítulo 2: La Propiedad Sobre Los Medios De Producción
• 2.1. Principales formas de propiedad sobre los medios de produ...
Capítulo 3: La Dirección Planificada De La Economía
• The essence of central planning; engaging with markets (¶¶203-264...
Capítulo 4 La Política Social
• Ties together economic and social development (¶¶ 265-311)
• El ideal de prosperidad de ...
Consideraciones Finales
• Model: “una necesidad para lograr la irreversibilidad y el desarrollo de la
construcción del so...
Consequences: Old Habits Die Hard
• How does one build a
revolutionary working class that
the state can exploit to perfect...
And What of the Asian “Markets Marxism” Model?
• Strong echoes of Chinese Communist
Party General Program but differences:...
Conclusion
• 7th PCC Congress and its
Conceptualización suggests the
difficulty of theorizing the
normative basis of the s...
Thanks!
• PowerPoints and Essay may be accessed online.
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Central Planning Versus Markets Marxism: The Cuban Communist Party Confronts Crisis, Challenge and Change in its 7th Congress

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The 7th Congress of the Cuban Communist Party stands in stark contrast to its predecessor. The 6th PCC Congress appeared to usher in an era of at least limited opening up and the institutionalization of a private sector of sorts. Yet the 7th PCC Congress in many respects appeared to disappoint. Procedurally it appeared to mark a step back from the openness of the 6th Congress. And it offered little by way of political opening up, even an opening up ushering in more robust intra-Party democracy. Most importantly, the 7th PCC Congress appeared to fall far short of confronting the economic model reaffirmed in the 4th PCC Congress—a model of central planning and Soviet bureaucratic mechanisms substituting for any sort of markets based regulation of economic activity. This paper considers the potential and the missed opportunities of the 7th PCC Congress. A close reading of the 7th PCC Congress will suggest the limits of reform in Cuba. Ideological limits are suggested by a political timidity that has been built into the operating culture of the PCC. As a consequence the PCC is finding it hard to move even from soviet style central planning ideologies to Marxist market ideologies that have proven more successful in other states. The PCC is suffering from a paralysis that may be more dangerous to its long term authority than any machinations originating in its enemies. The paper ends with a consideration of options and likely movement over the short term moving forward.

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Central Planning Versus Markets Marxism: The Cuban Communist Party Confronts Crisis, Challenge and Change in its 7th Congress

  1. 1. Central Planning Versus Markets Marxism: The Cuban Communist Party Confronts Crisis, Challenge and Change in its 7th Congress Larry Catá Backer The Coalition for Peace & Ethics (http://thecpe.org) Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy 26th Annual Meeting: Cuba: Assessing the Reforms July 28-July 30, 2016; Miami, Florida
  2. 2. Context • Cuban Communist Party Congresses • Context for implementation • General focus of Vanguard Party and ruling apparatus • 6th PCC Congress • “Reform and opening up” Cuban style • 7th PCC Congress • First Congress after normalization with the U.S. • First Congress after historic visit of U.S. President Obama • Moving forward on the Lineamientos Project
  3. 3. The 7th PCC Congress: “Sin Prisa Pero Sin Pausa” • Return to earlier pattern of operation • Fidel Castro’s address • Official analysis: "We are not rushing towards a free market economy, nor is our government taking us there. This is a gradual process of transformation, economic diversification and development of a nationalist private sector” (Rafael Hernandez Temas) • Continued necessity of the US as the “Great Satan” • 3½ Products • Review of course of reform • Adoption in Principle of (unavailable) Conceptualización • Development Plan to 2030 • Action Plan for PCC cadres Raul Castro Opens 7th Congress of Cuban Communist Party By:Prensa Latina News Agency. 16 April, 2016
  4. 4. The Focus • Central Questions: • Does the 7th PCC Congress mark the return to traditional models of Cuban Marxist Leninist macro-economics and politics? • Does it suggest (Conceptualización) a development of a contemporary Central Planning Marxism Model to suit the present historical stage of development of Cuba? • If so, is it different from or incompatible with the Chinese Markets Marxism Model? • Presentation • Consider the 7th PCC Congress • Analyze the substantive consequences of its sputtering reform trajectory • Conceptualización del modelo económico y social Cubano de desarrollo socialista: Plan nacional de desarrollo económico y social hasta 2030: Propuesta de vision de la nación, ejes y sectores estratégicos • Consider broader consequences
  5. 5. 7th Party Congress: “Fear and Loathing;” or Caution and Incrementalism? • Overall theme: The Shadow of . . . • “Fear and Loathing” • U.S.; markets; neo-liberalism; globalization • Factionalism • Caution and Incrementalism? • In the shadow of the Lineamientos • Explaining/excusing the slow pace of reform and opening up • Structural Consequences • Uncertainty • Delay (key documents unavailable) • Transparency • Signaling • Fidel Castro and the Foreign Ministry • Internal factions differences become more acute • Fewer individuals may participate in consultation • Key battle over the extent of reform and the willingness to open up (and to whom)
  6. 6. The New “Central Planning Marxism” • Basis for the conceptualization of reform • The language that will be used to understand “facts” • Norms against which action is assessed • The framework for giving meaning to concepts and structuring its implementation • Close alignment between Conceptualización, and the 2030 development plan.
  7. 7. Introducción: Ideological Framework • Expone las bases teóricas y características esenciales del Modelo Económico y Social Cuba no de Desarrollo Socialista (¶ 2) • con el objetivo de avanzar hacia una sociedad superior (¶ 9). • en función de avanzar hacia una sociedad socialista, próspera y sostenible (¶ 10). • Specify foundational premises for the construction of Cuban socialism in this stage in its development, its structures and strategic goals • La sociedad cubana se encuentra en el proceso histórico de construcción del socialismo, como alternativa viable para superar el capitalismo y, con ello, contribuir modestamente a la supervivencia de la Humanidad. (¶ 8). • y se ajusta a las nuevas condiciones internas y el contexto internacional contemporáneo (¶ 12). • Essential basis is the concept of Revolution (2000) of Fidel Castro • Grounded in a long entanglement with and development of strategies of opposition to the U.S. leading to the reform and opening up of the Lineamientos (¶¶14- 35) • From these were forged 7 basic principles para un desarrollo socia- lista próspero y sostenible (¶ 36-43): • (a) unity and independence of the Cuban people; (b) popular support of the leadership role of the PCC; (c) the universality of social welfare services; (d) the strengthening of Cuban values; (e) active engagement of a socialist civil society; (f) productive capacity to engage in global commerce in specified sectors; (g) augmented international prestige and standing among the community of nations.
  8. 8. Capítulo 1: Los Principios Que Sustentan El Modelo • Objective: build a total (an “all around”)Socialist Society: impulsar y consolidar la construcción de una sociedad socialista próspera y sostenible (¶ 49) • Sustainability is a function of development • Development a function of the Lineamientos (¶¶ 50-51) • Develop both material and social productive forces to produce rich and model state ¶ 52-53 • 1.1 Principios de nuestro socialismo que sustentan el Modelo ¶¶ 54-73 (Sustaining Principles) • Principles: Synthesis of the continuation of the essential basis of Cuban socialism ¶ 57-73: • Socialist human rights and moral values (¶58) (“Todo ello, en contraposición al egoísmo, el individualismo y el consumismo enajenante y depredador.”); nondiscrimination (¶68); right to work, health, education, etc. (¶ 69), to ensure social welfare (¶ 70-71) • Leadership of the PCC as the Leninist vanguard party (¶59) • The State as the guarantor and source of sovereign authority (¶60) • Socialist democracy is exercised through the legislature under the leadership of the PCC (¶ 61) • State as the source of popular rights and obligations (¶ 62). • State control of the fundamental means of production (¶ 63) legitimating/democratizing (¶¶64-65) • Highest objective: Preserving the state and Revolution (¶¶66; 72) • Central Planning is the principal means of socialist development (¶67) • Control of individuals as a means of social production; Individuals obligation to protect state property and work hard (¶ 73)
  9. 9. Capítulo 1: Los Principios . . .Y Sus Principales Transformaciones • 1.2. Transformaciones principales del Modelo ¶¶ 74-115 • Se refieren a las transformaciones que caracterizan los nuevos fundamentos del Modelo a partir de las condiciones internas y externas actuales (¶ 75) • 1.2.1. Consolidación del papel primordial de la propiedad social sobre los medios fundamentales de producción • Necessary conditions for transformation: Creation of a revolutionary working class (¶80); modernization of SOEs (organization, technology, innovation)(¶¶81-2); Application of Socialist distribution to workers (wage markets) (¶83); SOE self financing for development and improvement (¶¶84-85); Integrated SOE state ministry planning and direction (¶86); Unified currency (¶ 87) • 1.2.2. Reconocimiento y diversificación de diferentes formas de propiedad y de gestión, adecuadamente interrelacionadas (¶¶89-96) • Enhanced “socialist foreign investment” • Recognition of complementary role of private property over specifically designated means of production which must be bent to the needs of perfecting the centrally planned economy (¶¶ 91-96) • forma parte de los elementos que condicionan la necesidad objetiva del reconocimiento del mercado, en el que interactúen bajo la planificación como vía principal de dirección de la economía (¶94) • 1.2.3. Perfeccionamiento del Estado socialista, sus sistemas y órganos de dirección (¶¶97- 115) • State responsible for development of social and economic order (¶ 99) • Central planning of the economy must control both the state sector and private markets (¶101-104) • Import substitution and export growth as basic policy (¶ 105) • Judicial norms to be developed in aid of this system con orden y disciplina (echoing Raúl Castro))
  10. 10. Capítulo 2: La Propiedad Sobre Los Medios De Producción • 2.1. Principales formas de propiedad sobre los medios de producción (¶¶119-191) (forms of state ownership of means of poduction) • a) La propiedad socialista de todo el pueblo (¶¶121-157); • 1. Las unidades presupuestadas (non-commercial enterprises) • 2. las entidades empresariales de propiedad socialista de todo el pueblo (caracter mercantil). • b) la propiedad cooperativa (¶¶ 158-167) (labor collectives); • c) la propiedad mixta (¶¶158-167) (joint ventures); • d) la propiedad privada (¶¶1673-186) • (subject to rules restricting private accumulation of capital); • e) la propiedad de organizaciones políticas, de masas, sociales y otras formas asociativas (¶¶ 187-181) (mass organizations). • 2.2. Sobre el sistema de entidades de carácter empresarial (¶¶192-202) • Recaps the only permitted forms of economic organization (¶¶193-200) • State controls juridical persons in all respects through law (¶201) • State reserves to itself the assignment of the provision of goods and services by any of these economic actors as it sees fit (¶201).
  11. 11. Capítulo 3: La Dirección Planificada De La Economía • The essence of central planning; engaging with markets (¶¶203-264); • Components: • a) La planificación socialista (¶¶206); • El desarrollo socialista se erige en función del ser humano considerando las dimensiones política, económico-financiera, social, demográfica, territorial, científico-tecnológica, formativo-cultural, de protección y conservación de los recursos y el medioambiente, entre otras. (¶220) • b) la regulación (¶ 207) • Means of market regulation (¶245 et seq): (1) regulate market access and induce rational consumption; (2) identify areas suitable for market functioning (market ghettos); (3) establish standards and regulate competition; (4) consumer protection; and (5) restrict monopoly conditions contrary to societal interests. • c) la gestión del Estado (¶208) • Resource management and regional economic integration (shadow of ALBA) • d) el control (¶ 209) • Monitoring, surveillance, and regulatory structures to detect offenses and enforce planning. • El sistema nacional de estadísticas da respuesta a las necesidades del nuevo escenario en que interactúan diferentes formas de propiedad y gestión, utilizán- dose de manera combinada métodos directos e indirectos de captación de in- formación, como registros administrati- vos y contables, censos, encuestas y otros métodos de estimación. (¶ 264)
  12. 12. Capítulo 4 La Política Social • Ties together economic and social development (¶¶ 265-311) • El ideal de prosperidad de los ciudadanos se sustenta en perspectivas alcanzables de materialización de proyectos racionales de vida, individuales y colectivos, en correspondencia con los valores de nuestra sociedad, sustentados principalmente en los ingresos provenientes del trabajo, y los derechos constitucionales. (¶ 268) • 4.1. Los derechos económicos y sociales (¶¶273-298) • Welfare state principles • Education and culture as a socialization tool (¶281-284) • The cultivation of a taste for beauty (¶285) • Managing free time (286) • 4.2. El trabajo como fuente de bienestar y prosperidad (¶¶299-311) • Wealth distribution and social justice tied together (¶300); • basic principles (¶311) • Accounting for wage differentials (¶¶301-302) and private property (¶306-7) • Product markets must be managed to permit access to basic necessities (¶¶308-310)
  13. 13. Consideraciones Finales • Model: “una necesidad para lograr la irreversibilidad y el desarrollo de la construcción del socialismo en Cuba.” (¶312) • The shadow of Raúl Castro: • Es preciso asegurar más explicación al pueblo, más disciplina y exigencia y un mayor y más cercano seguimiento al proceso de cambios. Hay que tener, como ya hemos dicho, los oídos y los pies bien puestos sobre la tierra. (¶319) • An exercise in perfecting the Revolutionary insights as it is applied to changing conditions (¶322) • para consolidar los logros de la Revolución e impulsar la construcción de nuestro socialismo prós pero y sostenible. (¶329) • Shadows • The U.S.(¶328) • Regional integration (ALBA) and multilateral (¶¶ 325-327)
  14. 14. Consequences: Old Habits Die Hard • How does one build a revolutionary working class that the state can exploit to perfect its control of the economy? • Fear of the United States • Still the Great Satan • Protection against driving the pace and context of reform and opening up • Fear of markets • Fear of engagement • Necessity for control at every level • Conflation of Marxist Leninism with state planning economic model • Foundation for political legitimacy • Control
  15. 15. And What of the Asian “Markets Marxism” Model? • Strong echoes of Chinese Communist Party General Program but differences: • Markets: • Asian--as a means toward Socialist Modernization v • Cuban--as a marginal complement to State Control and operation of Political Economyln object • Path versus perfeccionamiento • Asian: the “Socialist Road” toward Marxist society • Cuban: Protecting the fruits of the Revolution and the socialist society created • Internally versus externally driven • Asian: looking to internal condition • Cuba: external enemies and regional integration • Management versus Control • Productive forces • Asian: Use (liberate) toward Leninist ends • Cuban: Use is an ends in itself
  16. 16. Conclusion • 7th PCC Congress and its Conceptualización suggests the difficulty of theorizing the normative basis of the state in times of crisis • Disconnect between elites and masses • Worldwide phenomenon • Highlights a fundamental crisis in theorizing state power • Document remains complex and remote; specialist text • It does not speak to the masses • Embedded with ambiguity
  17. 17. Thanks! • PowerPoints and Essay may be accessed online.

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