Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 6, 2008 29 Adar I 5768

In Cuba, ignorance in amber

By George Will


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The letter from a 12-year-old to "my good friend Roosvelt" [sic] is dated Nov. 6, 1940, one day after FDR won a third term. Saying he is "very happy" FDR won, he adds: "If you like, give me a ten dollars bill green american." The letter, an enlarged copy of which is on display in the National Archives, ends: "Good by. Your friend, Fidel Castro."


Young Castro with his hand out prefigured his role in political history. Until its spell was broken, Marxism mesmerized millions by promising to solve mankind's economic problem — abundance without the alienation caused by work, the French word for which is travail. Instead, Castro created mendicant Marxism, making Cuba dependent on huge subventions from the Soviet Union, which paid eight times the market price for sugar and in the process purchased young Cuban men to fight in various "wars of liberation." When Russia withdrew its aid, Cuba's economy quickly shrank 35 percent, more than the U.S. economy contracted (26.5 percent) in the Depression. Cuba under communism had to import sugar. Today, Hugo Chavez's Venezuela provides $4 billion of oil to a Cuba that has a gross domestic product of $45 billion.


The departure, if such it really is, of Castro, the weird uncle in the island's attic, cures nothing. Cuba's affliction remains: It is Castroism, which is communism colored by Bonapartism. Communism of any stripe is afflicted by terminal ignorance. Having no market, which is an information-generating mechanism, communism cannot know what things should cost.


FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO INFLUENTIAL NEWSLETTER

Every weekday NewsAndOpinion.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.


Hence communism's amazing contribution to humanity's economic history is "value-subtraction" — products worth less than the materials that go into them. That result is seriously inconvenient for Marxism's labor theory of value — the theory that labor adds all value to the world's materials.


Castro's career, although calamitous for Cubans, has provided entertaining farce through its effect on Western political pilgrims seeking leftist saviors. Joseph Goebbels called the Nazi regime "ennobled democracy"; the Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo called his "neo-democracy." In 1960, the second of Castro's 49 years as warden of Cuba as prison, Jean-Paul Sartre, existentialist and Stalinist, published an enraptured book about Castro's democracy. Sartre marveled at what he called Castro's "direct democracy" as demonstrated when, at a roadside stand, Castro and Sartre were served warm lemonade.


Castro got hot. The tepid drink, he said, "reveals a lack of revolutionary consciousness." The waitress, Sartre reported, shrugged and said the refrigerator was broken. Castro "growled" (Sartre's approving description), "Tell your people in charge that if they don't take care of their problems, they will have problems with me." Sartre, deeply stirred, wrote:


"This was the first time I understood — still quite vaguely — what I called 'direct democracy.' Between the waitress and Castro, an immediate secret understanding was established. She let it be seen by her tone, her smiles, by a shrug of her shoulders, that she was without illusion."


Norman Mailer, the novelist, and Oliver Stone, embodiment of Hollywood progressives in heat, had illusions galore. In 1960, when Castro came to Manhattan, Mailer, banal even when in ecstasy, wrote of white horses: "One felt life in one's cold overargued blood. . . . It was as if the ghost of Cortes had appeared in our century riding Zapata's white horse." Just a few years ago, Stone, a slow learner, advised: "We should look to [Castro] as one of the Earth's wisest people."


In the wise man's prisons — according to Armando Valladares's memoir of 22 years in them ("Against All Hope") — some doors are welded shut and prisoners are fed watery soup sometimes laced with glass, or dead rats, or half a cow's intestine, rectum included, containing feces. In 2003, the wise man's pulverizing police state, always struggling to reduce Cuba's civil society to a dust of individuals, sentenced 78 democracy advocates, after one-day secret trials, to up to 28 years in those prisons. Pilgrims praising Cuban health care call to mind Pat Moynihan's acerbic observation that when travel to China was liberalized, many visitors seemed more impressed by the absence of flies than by the absence of freedom.


Castro has ruled Cuba during 10 U.S. presidencies and longer than the Soviet Union ruled Eastern Europe. The Economist has called him "a Caribbean King Lear." Raging on his island heath, with nothing to celebrate except his endurance, his creativity has come down to this: He has added a category to the taxonomy of world regimes — government by costume party. Useful at last, the Comandante, dressed for success in his military fatigues, presides over a museum of Marxism.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

George Will's latest book is "With a Happy Eye but: America and the World, 1997-2002" to purchase a copy, click here. Comment on this column by clicking here.

Archives

© 2006 WPWG

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles