a critique (Part One).
The biggest lessons I have learned from Fidel Castro.
1 — You might defend the truth with your life, but never ever propagate truth as an absolute belief that should be followed without any deviation because of the threat of a common enemy.
2 -You have to be very cautious about how you want to help others long term and do what you think is best for them when they are ready to surrender at your doorsteps and trust you with their lives. You might be helped with what is good for you as an individual as you ought yourself to a community, but ultimately what is good for you and what will decisively help you contribute to that community has to be born in you and only by you on your own without any leader.
Fidel Castro failed at both miserably.
Fidel Castro tried his best and his worst to be good to his people until he started trapping them in humiliating political and economical ultimatums like:
Socialism or Death! Death was for anyone who opposed such dictum.
Hopefully, the Left will learn something about Fidel Castro before forgetting him:
Be the bearers of moral and political values which are not in conflict with people’s individual dignity, but don’t make of individual dignity the sentiment of a leader, a community, a party or a nation to follow.
Fidel Castro’s dictatorship of the proletariat has inevitably meant going back to a retro poverty suspended by the mere symbolic power of an inmutable belief: The dignity against the enemy even at the cost of the indignity of your own living conditions.
Fidel really had two missions for the Cuban people: To free them from poverty and to free them from the foreign occupation. The second one was ultimately aiming to create the conditions to achieve the first one.
However, the second one ended up making impossible to achieve the first one. It was just a matter of time (the fall of the Socialist block) to clearly visualise that Fidel Castro’s efforts seen in retrospective were made of many long term pyrrhic victories.
Fidel traumatised and simultaneously raped the Cuban psyche in ways so profound that it will take a very long term for the Cuban people to heal.
Fidel Castro’s rational dream.
Would it be rational to always think rationally when we are at our best? Is all rational thinking that works for an specific situation applicable to the same specific situation at another time?
How do we deal with the rapid distribution and consumption of prepackaged and segmentised pocket of rationality, of rational prepackaged products and rational prepackaged ideas?
Doesn’t a rationally polished idea require in most situations of an additional rational thinking to be able to be rationalised out of its segmentised rationalisation so that we can better make sense of it in a rational manner?
How would we assess such additional gradients of rationality? Isn’t irrationality (omitted rationality at a different strata) at the core of this miscalculation?
Sometimes we require of additional gradients of rational thinking bordering with absurdity to make a seemingly unrelated rational idea effective and meaningful.
It is the impatience of a forceful rational thinking in need of polishing or radicalisation what brings irrationality to an initially naturally rational idea. Yet, ideas without forcefulness seem not worth fighting for. It might be that forcefulness requires to be conducted like an airy melody efforlessly.
Fidel Castro had a brilliant naturally rational idea:
To liberate his people from misery and foreign oppression.
He was so forceful with such idea that the idea withered through his people and it didn’t feel no longer like an airy melody, but like homeopathic dose of carbon-monoxide they are still willing to keep breathing even when weakening their souls and their body for over half a century almost to total collapse.
Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Fidel Castro.
What is Fidel Castro to Barack Obama?
A reactionary deontologist (favour principles over results) with a sense of moral good stagnated in one individual vision that never truly allowed for diversity.
What is Barack Obama to Fidel Castro?
A half baked regressive consequentialist (favour results over principles) with a sense of moral good that relies on context and accommodating to the tapestry of bureaucracy and American status quo.
What is Fidel Castro to Donald Trump?
A serious dictator that charmed the souls of his people by wearing a single iron mask of moral good.
What is Donald Trump to Fidel Castro?
A clowny look like dictator that charms the souls of his supporters by wearing the many masks of his own moral good.
What is Barack Obama to Donald Trump?
An educated softy regressive leftist with a single sense of moral good but willing to bend it in all sort of way to respect bureaucratic procedures.
What is Donald Trump to Barack Obama?
A man who is not as much a racist and a misogynist, as a wild card able to play any card almost to perfection if and when required.
Fidel Castro and Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs was a despot. The difference between the two leaders, however, was that Steve Jobs often surrounded himself by very smart people that could prove him wrong in ways he couldn’t refuse because he deeply believed in innovation.
Fidel Castro on the other hand had the luxury to refuse to be proven wrong even by smarter people than him because he believed more in revolution than in innovation.
The difference between revolution and innovation is that even when revolution (to radically reinvent the wheel) can open the chances for innovation (creating something new and birthing it in other people or products) it can also promote self-destructive forces. Revolution create a blank slate, but it doesn’t necessarily knows how to create the new from the past and fill it up.
The difference between innovation and revolution is that even when innovation can open the chances for revolution it can also promote stagnating forces by complacency. Innovation bring novelty, but it doesn’t necessarily know how to break up from the past and create the new without filling it up with the old.
Steve Jobs was an innovator and in small ways he was also a revolutionary. Steve Jobs left a material legacy in the world of computers which many appreciate, but he left at a spiritual legacy which many detest for being that of a ruthless entrepreneur.
Steve Jobs might have not become an innovator when he was fired from his own company Apple, but somehow he came back and gave us the Apple products we got today.
Fidel Castro was a revolutionary, but in no way he was an innovator. Fidel Castro left a material legacy which is rather that of misery and devastation and he also left at a spiritual level a legacy which many detest for being that of a resilient dogmatist by way of a complete mono-politicisation of the Cuban society in the hands of the government.
Fidel Castro could have become a political innovator by having a better reconciliation with Cuban history and promoting independent forces in Cuba and delegating the power he amassed to different sectors of Cuban society. Even when he sporadically showed the willingness to do so he ended up with virtually every Cuban doing things exactly the way he wanted.
I should point out that even when I am giving Steve Jobs more historical credits for what he did with technology than to Fidel Castro for what he did in politics, I do not think Steve Jobs should be taken as a spiritual mentor for future generations. He also shares with Fidel Castro his resilient despotic stubbornness.
“Of all tyrannies,” C.S. Lewis once wrote, “a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.