The New Cuba

Cuba explores economic opportunities and business models that are people-friendly. Americans would do well to pay attention.

About theminstrelscitadel

In search of courageous souls who aren't afraid to dig a little deeper and have a conversation about all manner of things. Rant, rave, debate, discuss... let's do it!
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6 Responses to The New Cuba

  1. Philip Shiell says:

    Nice post!
    An invigorating article. It’s got me charged up for the day.
    Cuba should be focussed upon (as a form of global study). As these co-ops start to evolve – hopefully abiding to the “ground rules”: to make sure it is the man in the overalls and his family get the full benefit of such a community empowering project – we will be able to see the effects the integration of a co-op concept can really have.
    It must be a quantum leap in adaptation for the people!

    Oh yes, and its good to get away from the dogmas set down by “glorified” mainstream commentators basking in their “This is the only fxxxxxxx way of doing business”.
    We should learn from them, and not condemn them for what they are trying to do.
    If we fall into this trap, we haven’t learned a thing. Sorry, the teacher is coming out in me.

    I’ve just started Noam Chomsky’s World Orders, Old and New. It’s not my regular choice of book, but I think with becoming self-employed recently, a sense of “new” freedom (shedding the bonds of the 9 to 5) has entered my life. I picked the book up at a second hand store (UK Heart Foundation charity shop), and read a few pages. Just like the article you’ve posted, it got me thinking about stretching the borders of my knowledge.
    My God, I’ll be 48 this year and I don’t want to end up a couch potato with little perspective: I need to get my grey cells fit again.

    Thanks for posting.
    Are you into discussing such issues? I’d love to hear your views.
    I love listening to what people have to think, as long as we’re on the same page.

  2. Wow, did you just make my day, Phillip! I LOVE discussing these sort of things but have nearly given up on it because people tend to be completely disinterested or too busy or have no opinion because they are not familiar with the issues. I believe so strongly in dialogue, and discussion, and exploration of issues, but like I said, I never seem to find anyone to really converse with about this stuff.

    For me, it’s not enough to “preach to the choir” so to speak. In other words, it’s easy enough to discuss things with people who agree with you, and while that may be validating it is certainly not constructive, except where new points are made, of course. I would love to dialogue with people who don’t share my viewpoint, as well, as long as there is mutual respect and a mutual desire to really explore issues, not just regurgitate the party line, you know? So easy for people to become dogmatic and close off discussion. I’m always interested in unbiased analysis of problems and their solutions. I see that as being our only path to continuing the species (humanoid, of course), really. We’ve got to build bridges and tear down walls. We won’t benefit from more boxes and soundbites….

    I’m familiar with Noam Chomsky, although I have never read of any of his books. I know that he has been a very strong voice for the Left for decades; that he is a scholar; highly intelligent and analytical. Here in the States he is only known in relatively small circles: Progressives, Foreign Policy buffs (like myself), Scholars, Intellectuals, and the CIA (which most definitely has a very thick file on him, of course). 🙂 By the way, another person you might want to check out is David Barsamian, another American author and Progressive activist. He’s done numerous interviews with Chomsky that I’ve read. I knew him from a cooperative bookstore I volunteered at in Boulder decades ago.

    Before I forget: congratulations on becoming self-employed! I wish you the kind of success you are looking for, and the deepest satisfaction! Personally, I aspire to a little bit of tether cutting, too. I dreamt last night that I was at home, writing, and feeling the deepest level of contentment ever. I’m hoping that will become a reality sometime soon. Wish me luck!

    So, yes, let’s discuss! Next post- this one’s getting long-ish…

  3. Okay, so the concept of Worker Owned Cooperatives appeals to me for several reasons:

    1) I believe that the people doing the work deserve the compensation. (I know from being a low-level manager how classism comes into play, and how the people who already earn a higher wage also are offered more benefits than the others. I think it’s disgusting. Compensation should be equal and benefits should be equal, period. It takes every single person within an organization to drive it towards success, and that success should be spread out equally. I strongly believe that.)

    2) Whatever “good” the Capitalist model had going for it has been completely defiled by corruption and greed. When companies lay off 1,000 workers only to find that their stocks go through the roof something is terribly wrong there. The best that Capitalism can offer SHOULD be that it affords everyone with the willingness to work hard the opportunity to start their own business and make their own living. Unfortunately for minorities that keeps them out of it because there is a bias in lending the startup cash. Without investors or bank loans to back you up an entrepreneur must rely on their own surplus cash. Therefore, the idea of a government helping to create worker-owned new businesses is an exciting form of job creation and wealth creation. I can’t think of a better way to spend the government’s money than to empower individuals and communities to create their own reliable incomes!

    3) In my opinion Communism fails for the same reasons that Socialism and Capitalism fail: Power, Greed and Corruption. Every politician that gains the national podium thinks that they can dictate what is good for everyone else and before you know it oppression is the elephant in the room AGAIN.

    There’s got to be a middle ground we can all stand upon that doesn’t leave someone knocking on the door of the disenfranchised. Any idea what that might look like, Phil?

  4. Philip Shiell says:


    Just checking in.
    We went out dancing last night (May 1st celebration, etc), so my head is not running properly this morning.
    I feel like:
    must… recharge… power cells… running low…..(just imagine HAL 9000’s voice slowing on this one)

    Where’s my water. Oooooooh my head… Why did I have to drink that last beer?
    I suppose you get the picture of my morning malady: I’m not used to it.

    Will peruse your text soon as brain allows normal transmissions to this station!

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL sounds like you had a good time, I’m glad. 🙂 Take your time, no rush, Wild Man.

  5. Anonymous? Well, that’s a first. Forgot to sign in before commenting…

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