from Commonwealth


In any case, one fact that emerges clearly from this history is that liberation struggles can no longer be cast in terms of modernization and stages of development. The power of antimodernity,which was unrealized in the socialist revolutions and the struggles for national independence, comes to the fore again, intact, in our times. Che Guevara seems to intuit this fact during the final years of his life when he tries to break away from the structural determinism and the historical linearity of socialist doctrine, which, he recognizes, merely reproduces the basic features of capitalist modernity. ”Pursuing the chimera of realizing socialism with the help of the blunt weapons left to us by capitalism,” he writes, leads to a deadend. ”To construct communism it is necessary to make, simultaneous with the new material foundation, a new humanity [el hombre nuevo].”51

Che certainly knows firsthand the constraints of socialist developmentalism. He serves as president of the national bank and minister of industries i n the years after the revolution. But in 1965 he mysteriously disappears from public view and leaves to join revolutionary struggles first in the Congo and then  in Bolivia, where he is killed. Some see this decision to leave Cuba and his government posts as a sign o f a romantic’s restlessness for adventure or an unwillingness to roll up his sleeves and face the hard work of building a national economy. We interpret it instead as a refusal o f the bureaucratic and economic strait jacket of the socialist state, a refusal to obey the dictates of development ideology. The new humanity he seeks to build communism will never be found there. His flight to the jungle is really a desperate attempt to rediscover the forces of antimodernity he knew in the liberation struggle. Today it is even more clear than in Che’s time that only movements from below, only subjectivities at the base o f the productive and political processes have the capacity to construct a consciousness of renewal and transformation. This consciousness no longer descends from the intellectual sectors that are organic to what was once called socialist science but rather emerges from the working classes and multitudes that autonomously and creatively propose anti-modern and anti-capitalist hopes and dreams.



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