August 10, 1999


A Dead Symbol is Forever

Mario J. Viera González, Agencia Cuba-Verdad

HAVANA, Cuba August 5 - Russian Communists may be indignant. Latin American Communists may sing dirges and cover themselves with ashes, but Lenin is dead, forever. He was done in finally by reality when his life's work was put into practice.

The article by philosopher Enrique Ubieta "To Bury Lenin?," taken from the magazine "Contracorriente" (Countercurrent) and reproduced in "Juventud Rebelde" (Official Organ of the Communist Youth League) in the July 25 issue, is an impotent lament by the philosopher as he watches the old Bolshevik symbols disappear, from the hammer and sickle to the mummy on Red Square.

Ubieta laments that "politicians and academics do not mention Lenin's name" and he believes there is a conspiracy of silence to discredit what he calls a "man-symbol" when, the way he tells it, this man-symbol is "kept alive by today's complex world."

Ubieta may be as much a philosopher as he wants to be, but he doesn't seem to live in "today's complex world" where the work "Communism" smells, the same way that the word "neo-liberalism" smells, though some haven't noticed the odor on the latter yet. Nobody likes to talk about failure and Bolshevik Communism has been, like its father, a complete failure.

By tomorrow, maybe no one will talk about neo-liberalism, but this fashionable trend at least won't leave behind an obsolete symbol like the ones left behind by Communism.

The philosopher complains that Russians "haven't understood that Socialism failed (in Russia) because it was embalmed." One would have to tell Ubieta that Leninist Socialism failed because it embalmed life, and because it embalmed the natural rights of men, because it was sterile.

To bury Lenin is not a bad idea. Communism survives today only symbolically. Two mummified symbols remain of Marxism-Leninism: Lenin's unburied corpse and Cuba's embalmed Revolution. It is time to bury dead symbols!

CubaNet does not require sole rights from its contributors. We authorize the reproduction and distribution of this article as long as the source is credited.