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 Post subject: Re: Is cuba socialist?
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 8:08 pm 
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Update:

Finished reading the chapter on what level of control workers have over production. My mind isn't as fresh since I've let some time pass since I first read it but I did take some notes so let's see here...

Essentially after the revolution the new government rapidly appropriated most of the means of production. Within 5 years I believe 75% of the cuban economy was under control of and directed by the new revolutionary government. Since a good chunk of the middle class and the bourgeoisie had fled, those with experience running these enterprises had fled the country, not to mention the scant information there was about production in general available from these enterprises before being expropriated, there were some hiccups. Long story short the government ran into some problems with creating lofty goals that were impossible to meet due to a lack of information about the economy in general to make realistic goals. Not only that, but most people didn't have experience directing production in the first place. There was also more emphasis on a top-down approach in the first decade of the revolution.

However as time passed more information about the cuban economy was compiled so that the central planning bodies were able to make more realistic plans with some data to give insight as to how different enterprises were performing and what materials they needed, etc. From here there were efforts made to decentralize production. Workers were also given more details about the production process and input via the unions where they would be able to make changes to the plans and otherwise debate. While the final say is in the hands of the planning committees, in theory they are supposed to meet with workers and explain why they feel that their input was rejected. This seems to have actually worked alright and there was motivation for government officials to meet with workers about it otherwise they would get sour and it was just seen as poor taste in general.

Regardless, workers would first get the plans, make suggestions, then from there the revised plans would be sent back where workers would then deliberate on implementation and how they would put the abstract plans into concrete terms and execute it. Workers were rewarded for going above and beyond production quotas, however the book mentioned that workers would often request more raw materials and increased output in the planning phase and actually end up being rejected simply because cuban embargo ******** stuff, the island had little resources. I'm not exactly sure how it works, I lost the specifics, but essentially it sounded like they had some incentive to do so such that simply under shooting and then going well above wasn't as popular as one would think or something.

Anyway, basically as far as incentives go, workers who were good and productive in enterprises that met quotas got prizes which year on year were expanded in an effort to reach more and more workers. However in practice there have been hiccups, but it actually seemed like things were smoothing out with the years and not deteriorating, with delays in unions receiving plans becoming less frequent and planning became more efficient.

So yeah, tl;dr: workers were a vital part of the planning process and by giving workers control and importance in the planning process it actually boosted morale and productivity. In order for democracy to be enforced the book made the case that there needs to be some level of centralization that can enforce a standard that protects minority workers, coordinates effectively between enterprises, etc, but also requires decentralization so that workers can give input that's actually representative of their needs and stuff like that.

Like I said, I read it like a week ago so perhaps not as strong of a summary as I could have given, but this is what I could muster.


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 Post subject: Re: Is cuba socialist?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 4:29 pm 
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ScientificSocialist wrote:
Essentially after the revolution the new government rapidly appropriated most of the means of production. Within 5 years I believe 75% of the cuban economy was under control of and directed by the new revolutionary government. Since a good chunk of the middle class and the bourgeoisie had fled, those with experience running these enterprises had fled the country, not to mention the scant information there was about production in general available from these enterprises before being expropriated, there were some hiccups. Long story short the government ran into some problems with creating lofty goals that were impossible to meet due to a lack of information about the economy in general to make realistic goals. Not only that, but most people didn't have experience directing production in the first place. There was also more emphasis on a top-down approach in the first decade of the revolution.


If I'm not mistaken this was also pretty much the case with the freshly created USSR. In effect, the bourgeois enacted a national lock-out.

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