And the Conceptualization…? / Reinaldo Escobar
Posted on January 27, 2015
Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 27 January 2014 – It’s been three years since
the Communist Party of Cuba’s First National Conference. As can be
expected, few are the people, including a great part of that
organization’s own militants, who remember what was agreed to at that
meeting and, to an even lesser extent, which of the adopted accords
remain unimplemented. But, who cares?
The “Work Objectives” approved by the Conference, point 62 of Chapter
II, titled “Ideological and Political Work,” outlines the need to “work
especially on the conceptualization of the theoretical fundamentals of
the Cuban economic model.” Eight months prior to that Conference, the
Communist Party of Cuba’s Sixth Congress had revealed the Guidelines
(Lineamientos) that would govern the country’s economic and social
policies. All pointed to the fact that, since conceptualization could
not be the source of inspiration for the Guidelines, it could at least
be its after-the-fact theoretical justification.
However, the task of theorizing seems to be more complex than the
practical application or, to say it in official jargon, “the
implementation” of the Guidelines, which have a structure led by Mr.
Marino Murillo, Minister of the Economy. Who is responsible for the
conceptualization? What entity is committed to undertake it? No one knows.
The term “update” has been chosen to define what, in less official
settings, is referred to as “reforms” to the Cuban economic model. The
genesis of said model was designed based on those economic theses which,
in 1975, during the First Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, put
in practice the so-called Economic Direction and Planning System. But,
that framework collapsed when in 1986 the comandante unleashed the
Process of Rectification of Errors and Negative Tendencies. All that has
come since then has been a chain of improvisations filled with patches
intended to find momentary solutions — to keep “resolving.” Today, when
speaking of “updating,” no one explains clearly what has aged or where
the novelties have come from. That would be the task of conceptualization!
Today, when speaking of “updating”, no one explains clearly what has
aged or where the novelties have come from
The first condition needed to achieve this mission impossible of
conceptualizing what has been outlined by the Guidelines would be that
the formulations bear some coherence to the principles of the
Marxist-Leninist doctrine or, at the very least, with one of the vague
statements made by the historic leader. Not even Cantinflas would be
able to do it. Unless, of course, some enlightened graduate of the Ñico
López National School of the Party has found the keys to the new
revelation. But the evolution of our reality demands another kind of
theoretical orchestration. To appeal to the conceptual tools that lie at
the origin of our problems cannot result in the emergence of solutions.
That would be like trying to uphold geocentric principles using string
theory or explaining Cuban “Bufo” Theater with the Stanislavski System.
We’re a little over a year away from the Communist Party of Cuba’s
Seventh Congress. If only as an elemental formality, the
conceptualization should be presentable before that event, so that it
may be discussed and approved. But, who cares?
Translated by Fernando Fornaris
Source: And the Conceptualization…? / Reinaldo Escobar | Translating