I just finished reading a novel on Cuba – the revolution and post-revolution period — from the late 1950s through the mid-1960s. I have always been fascinated with that island – and what it might have been. I lived much of my life just a short boat ride from its shores. I piloted planes over it several times, made my living diving the waters around it, and I knew many Cuban expatriates who fled the island for sanctuary in America.
The book was a great read, but most of all it defined the psychology behind socialism, and the techniques used to seduce a nation. The parallels to America were frightening. The novel defined how socialism gains momentum by placing emphasis on dissatisfaction and envy, fracturing a nation using class warfare as its primary tool. Sound familiar?
Castro came along at a time when Cuba’s leadership had reached a low ebb in integrity, and the people were looking for a change. The Batista government was a democracy, but is was rife with politicians taking more for themselves than they were giving to the people. Castro stirred distrust and indignation with the present form of government while promising more power and prosperity for the lower classes – that he would feed them and take care of them when the wealth of the nation was more evenly divided. Making speeches was always one of his high points, and he made a lot of them. Does any of this sound familiar?
What he didn’t explain to the people was that they would no longer be able to make choices for themselves.
In any society there will always be poor folks, and there will always be people who want something for nothing. These conditions are not necessarily synonymous, but many of these individuals are willing to side with anyone who promises them prosperity. There will always be those of wealth with conscience, and those with money who don’t care much about anyone else, because this is not a perfect world, and anyone who tells you they can make it perfect is a liar or a fool.
We all know the result of Cuba’s bad decision. Fidel broke each of the promises he made, but by the time he had finished decimating pledges, Cuba had slid by socialism and was smack dab in the center of communism; Fidel was so firmly implanted in power that there was no place left for argument. In the end there were still those living lavish lives in big houses, with poor people all around them – only the names and the political persuasions had changed.
The greatest problem is the seduction of socialism? It promises something that strikes a chord deep within the emotional and psychological heart of man – to be taken care of – to be part of the hive. But it also goes against the very nature of man, with his desire to compete and achieve and be rewarded for his achievements. Here is the honest, unequivocal truth: There is no place on earth where pure socialism has succeeded. Nowhere. Yet, like moths to an unattainable light, the poor and the lazy and the wickedly manipulative are still drawn to this impossible panacea, and nations are torn apart.
We in America need to remember our history. We are witnessing this same sly psychology, this division of the masses, the promises of benign guardianship, easy prosperity that can’t be kept, the indignation and rage aimed at those who have had the audacity to become wealthy, and the gradual central control of what have been autonomous agencies in the past. Most of all, we are watching a leader exploit his own race to increase division in our nation.
Fidel Castro took an island that was destined to become the jewel of the Caribbean and reduced it to a repressive, third world hovel – in the name of socialism and communism.
We have a president whose mentors were Castro’s friends.
Michael Reisig has been writing professionally for 15 years. He is an award-winning newspaper columnist and a best-selling novelist. His latest novel “The Truthmaker” (released May 2012) is sure to please his readers, providing an intense combination of adventure and humor as our hero’s wing from the Caribbean, to the Keys, to Washington, DC. You can find the book for sale at Amazon.com – The TruthmakerNotes:
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