I accuse socialists of failing to analyze their own economic system and enterprises. Socialists are not interested in how socialism or even capitalism actually works. They are interested in Marxism and sloganism. Socialists love “isms”. Read Lenin and Stalin for a list of “isms”.

Socialist economists will rarely write a paper about the inner workings of socialism in any of its forms or levels. There are papers investigating socialism available on the internet, but most are not written by socialists in the country investigated and most are not favorable to socialism. Only outside economists have the freedom to make unbiased investigations of socialism and socialist enterprises. One can understand why native economists are reluctant to make such unbiased investigations. They are afraid to lose employment in their academic positions as there are no positions available outside of government employment.

Good reading.

Comments?

Here is a paper by two Portuguese economists analyzing the decisions and behavior of Cuban managers. I produce a few visual bites and provide the website address for the entire paper.

WRITING NEW SCRIPTS: REDEFINING MANAGERIAL AGENCY IN CUBA

MIGUEL PINA E CUNHA Departamento de Gestão Faculdade de Economia Universidade Nova de Lisboa.

RITA CAMPOS E CUNHA Departamento de Gestão Faculdade de Economia Universidade Nova de Lisboa

The complete paper can be read here: http://fesrvsd.fe.unl.pt/WPFEUNL/WP2002/wp408.pdf

I don’t want to be accused of selective editing.

ABSTRACT

Transitional societies are faced with particularly challenging and pressing problems. These usually involve the passage from a centralised, socialist-based society, to a decentralised, market-based economy. This paper addresses a somewhat different case: that of Cuba. According to the official discourse, the island is not in a state of transition. On the contrary, it is assumed that the conquests of the revolution are there to stay. Nonetheless, significant changes are taking place. The market logic is being adopted in a growing number of cases, ranging from empresas mixtas to the weak signals of entrepreneurial activity. Drawing on a series of eight focus groups with a total of 106 Cuban executives and management scholars, this paper addresses the uniqueness of the Cuban case on the basis of the theory of structuration. The paper reports how the need to “keep the faith” is being added with the adoption of Western management practices, and how the interplay between planned and emergent change is sculpting transition through the redefinition of managerial scripts.

Selected quotes:

“Organization and management studies about the reality in the country [Cuba], in contrast, are rare.”

“Fourth, it adds to the scarce organizational literature on the Cuban case. Fifth, it discusses how individual managers make sense and deal with contradictory demands.”

CUBA: ECONOMY AND ENTREPRISE [sp]

Communism and capitalism are starting to live face-to-face in today’s Cuba. The country’s government, however, continues to deny that it is in a state of transition. The proclaimed virtues of socialism are still glorified. As such, many of the traditional characteristics of the so-called “socialist superiority” (e.g. Zhu & Warner, 2000) are still in place, including the praise of the socialist system (employment security, party/management leadership), “industrial harmony” (implemented by trade unions), “egalitarianism” (materialised in low wage differentials), and the pervasiveness of the political dimension in organizational life.

Important comments here:

“But this configuration of practices led to a lack of motivation for production and eventually to the collapse of the economic system. There is clearly a problem of agency, since managers had no incentives to work for efficient and effective organizational performances. Upper management appointments were not related to business leadership skills and results oriented performance, but rather to ideological objectives and party loyalty. The centralized staffing policies, low wage differentials and the absence of a meritocracy system led to a lack of control for individual performance and therefore to a “no-owner company” culture, which is quite common in state-owned organizations (Cunha & Cooper, 2002).”

Despite all the changes introduced after the periodo especial (the period following the fall of the communist bloc, that marked the end of a special relationship with the Soviet Union), many of these symptoms are still present in Cuba. Significantly, a 2001 Newsweek Magazine’s poll of the worst countries (Contreras, 2001), classified Cuba as the worst place for venture capitalists to make a living.

http://vandanson.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Cuban-Sugar-Factory-1024x768.jpghttp://vandanson.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Cuban-Sugar-Factory-150x150.jpgVanDansonEconomicsSocialismPoliticsI accuse socialists of failing to analyze their own economic system and enterprises. Socialists are not interested in how socialism or even capitalism actually works. They are interested in Marxism and sloganism. Socialists love “isms”. Read Lenin and Stalin for a list of “isms”. Socialist economists will rarely write a...Countering the Myths of Economics and Politics