But during the generally lighthearted conversation (we had just spent three hours talking about Iran and the Middle East), I asked him if he believed the Cuban model was still something worth exporting.
“The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore,” he said.
This struck me as the mother of all Emily Litella moments. Did the leader of the Revolution just say, in essence, “Never mind”?
I asked Julia to interpret this stunning statement for me. She said, “He wasn’t rejecting the ideas of the Revolution. I took it to be an acknowledgment that under ‘the Cuban model’ the state has much too big a role in the economic life of the country.”
It’s “limited communism”–kind of like working at a large corporation. You get low-cost health care and education, bad pay, a tiny working space, two square feet of private property, and no rights. Meanwhile, a “team leader” gets a chair with a high back, a plexiglass nameplate, and a window facing the executive building. Oh yeah, that’s what Americans call “capitalism.”
I continue to insist that communism is a joke. It is not a viable economic or political system. It carries no cultural force. Its “intellectual” form, Marxism, is not a serious philosophy. Communism is a parody of democracy that appeals only to dope-addled graduate students and drunken peasants with guns. If you are afraid of those kinds of people, give them free pizza and beer, and they will stay docile.