Cuba: From Revolution to Development
Pinter, 1998 - 174 pages
Ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the subsequent demise of CMEA (Council for Mutual Economic Advancement), the international communist trading bloc, observers have been predicting that Cuba will go the same way as the rest of the Warsaw Pact: 'market forces' replacing planning directives, and with political representation through political parties competing periodically for the national vote.
Cuba has defied the pundits. And, in the opinion of the author, will not succumb to the liberalizing pressures of the globalized world economy. Cuba faces problems, and in this book the scale of these pressures is assessed in the context of Cuban development since the revolution in 1959. The alternative policy strategies put forward in the traditional literature are theoretically addressed, with the ideological implications of each programme emphasized.
Cuba does face a new, hostile international economic environment, and choices have to be made. But these are political choices, rather than economic ones. The possible economic options open to Cuba are discussed, in light of the political constraints and parameters within which market forces must operate.
'Examining intelligently the different options available to Havana's policy-makers, Ken Cole's mastery of economic theory allows him to explain in accessible language Cuba's economic decline and ensuing surprising recovery in the 1990s....required reading for students and teachers of Cuban affairs, as well as newsmen, policy-makers and investors who need to learn the why and how behind Cuba's promising economic renewal.'
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The contradiction in the capitalist mode of production is between: the 'qualitative'
use value of labour power, i.e. the amount of value produced for the purchaser,
the capitalist employer; and the 'quantitative' exchange value of labour power, i.e.
the value of labour to the seller, the wage payment to the labourer. There is a
contradictory qualitative /quantitative dialectic within labour power as a
commodity, which, like all commodities, is a social relation, a relation through
which society ...
(Marx 1972a: 145-6, emphasis in original) However, the rising organic
composition of capital, implying a declining rate of profit, can be offset by
increased exploitation of labour power: the same investment in v producing more
s, producing greater social conflict within the capitalist mode of production. 'The
real barrier to capitalist production is capital itself (Marx 1972a: 259, emphasis in
original). There is, then, a tendency for the rate of profit to fall (see Clarke 1994),
although with a ...
As societies change, reflecting the imperative to maximize profits through
commodity exchange, the capitalist 'class', which owns the means of production,
is to a degree able to protect itself from the adverse effects of social change, and
normally better able to fulfil its creative potentials. Although the nature of
commodity exchange forces them to compete among themselves for a share of
surplus value, and bankruptcy relegates some to join the ranks of the working
class. However, the ...
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The Cuban predicament
The revolutionary imperative
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