CUBA: Regressive adaptability.
No matter how much poor the people of a country can be their adaptability can be comfortably regressive, even in the worst situations. Such seems to be the situation of the Cuban people.
Cuba seems like a world on its own when compared with the globalization and atomization of social values happening in the rest of the world, but in reality, Cuba is not.
The Cuban micro-world syncs through clenched teeth, like a fractal reality, with the social conflicts, present today in the developed countries.
The atomization and cocooning of the collective experience in disjointed segmentized groups is common as much in those societies as it is in Cuba.
Recently, in a conversation with a friend who just arrived from Cuba, he was telling me:
“Cuba lives in a state of normalized disaster. Havana is a quiet and banal place. People drink, eat, fuck, waste time and above all moan a lot … It is impressive how such state of affairs has gained a life of its own. Society has become isolated from the State, it has turned into some kind of anonymous community. The State is weak and invisible.”
I am assuming that the State is weak and invisible for those who are not in frontal opposition to it. The State, in fact, must be the main promoter of such normalized disaster or banal indifference.
One could adapt creatively or regressively to any situation. Cuban people have been and have felt obliged to adapt regressively to their precarious situation. Such has been today the problem of the political Left in Cuba and anywhere else in the world, namely, its capacity to adapt fundamentally in a regressive manner to any precarious situation.
Curiously, the fight in both political fronts, the Left and the Right, has become an endless cliché about how to escape two evils under the impression that there is a lesser evil. However, the raw reality of things will have to teach us one day that the lesser evil was just an excuse to perpetuate the same thing.
One of the evil things is the atomization of beliefs in isolated and disconnected groups from society and the world in general. The other evil is globalization and the overspill of connections to the point of reaching a zombified disconnection and de-personalization of everything.
In some way, secular societies will have to recover of the bad habit of thinking that there is a lesser evil without that implying that there is an absolute moral good.
Today, there are many evils, but there is no such thing as lesser evil. Such an assumption is a pure trick of the mind as a result of moral weakness and lack of cognitive integrity. This is a lesson that requires urgent attention. The moral good can be diverse, but it could never be the lesser of two evils. The moral good has to be good and simply good no matter how diverse its embodiment might be.
My Cuban friend went on:
“We are oversaturated with talent and with physical beauty. People are more and more informed, educated, healthy, intelligent, but at the same time more stupid. There is no vision. Play, irony, sarcasm, and parody are holding the winning cards. Whatever is “serious” “heavy” or “profound” is out of fashion. The monetized masses have conquered the mass media, but they have really nothing to say. We have an endless proliferation of social media, socialization of such media, emptying of the message. Everything has become the medium, from the word to the body, but anyone no longer asks which are the purposes or rather, the use of such a medium has become a purpose in itself.”
And I was asking myself if the lack of vision my friend was referring to is what has perpetuated misery in Cuba considering that many talented people continue to leave the island.
How could a vision be re-vitalize in Cuba if such vision has been continuously hijacked first by the dominant revolutionary status quo and second by the surge of “talented” people coming from the tourist sectors and the black market looking for possible and impossible ways to survive?
Perhaps, the concept of talent should remain the same, but the concept of vision should change not to please the prerogatives of what it means to have talent (partial and specialized knowledge) but to make more dynamic the very concept of humanity and what it means to share collective experiences which are attuned as much with their local as with their universal existences.
The crisis of concrete universal values and the crisis of individual organic values are lived today as much in the rest of the world as in Cuba. The resolution of such conflict is neither in an abstract Government driven vision nor in the atomized pillage of scattered and privileged individuals or groups trying to live at the expense of ordinary Cubans.