Saturday, February 28, 2009

An American visiting Habana Vieja talks about Karl Marx

So while we, as Americans, may sniff at Karl Marx, he was not a Hitler. His unsparing examination of how capitalism works was intended to be helpful to the vast majority of humanity. His thinking was always directed at sharing wealth more justly and ameliorating the injustices of capitalism, and no matter how badly successive governments and dictators misapplied his analysis, we might remind ourselves that our own country remains so fearful of his thinking and analysis that this man, who has inspired countless revolutions around the world, has been virtually scrubbed from our own culture. He is like the film actor from the 1930s, John Garfield, once as popular as Clark Gable but consigned to the dust-bin of history for his allegiance to Marx's thought. Thought, analysis! -- virtually scrubbed from American life during the Cold War. Does it not speak to our insecurities that we cannot or do not ever openly debate our common economic system? Could it have something to do with the numbers of Americans living singly in entire houses and the large numbers living with no houses?

Peter Coyote, in Reconstruction Underway in Cuba.

JG: Peter, you hit right on the head. In one of the wealthiest nations in the world, thousands sleep in the cold concrete of a sidewalk, while 47 million do not have health insurance. Capitalism: the exploitation of man by man!

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