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    Authoritarianism is Also a Popular Culture

    Cuba: Authoritarianism is Also a Popular Culture
    December 9, 2014
    Yenisel Rodríguez Pérez

    HAVANA TIMES – Authoritarianism encompasses everything from the most
    banal daily practice to the government measure with the most profound
    impact on society. Our social experiences in Cuba are saturated with the
    authoritarian culture we all complain about.

    The oppression that characterizes the Cuban regime is operative in the
    break-up of family ties, disrespect towards consumers, the fear of
    defending legitimate rights, individualism, the systematic violation of
    people’s privacy and a long list of etcetera’s.

    Over the last 50 years, for instance, Cuban educators have had no other
    indicator with which to guide their pedagogical efforts other than
    insipid indoctrination and the stereotyped status of sacrosanct authority.

    How have the parents of students responded?

    They have become accomplices to the injustices they face, ignoring the
    needs and opinions of their children and establishing an affectionate
    proximity to the authoritarian teachers, ultimately validating the
    inequalities experienced in Cuban classrooms on a daily basis.

    We also have a notion of “roughing it” that confounds work with slavery
    and makes people avoid contemplative experiences, regarding these as
    mere laziness, turning the impulse to avoid knowledge about ourselves
    into a kind of urgent survival need.

    Then there is the endless cycle of consumption: that impulse to collect,
    or the longing to collect objects (household appliances, for the most
    part), in the hopes of putting out the anguish that is coextensive with
    human existence. This way, we not only end up living under an
    authoritarian regime, we also end up being a part of it, its most solid
    pillar.

    Being anti-authoritarian, being an opponent or critic of the Cuban
    regime requires daily practices that are outside – or at least try to
    fall outside – the domain of violence, the subtle political complicity
    with power and ignorance of who we are.

    Anything else is gross hypocrisy, double standards and daily opportunism.

    Source: Cuba: Authoritarianism is Also a Popular Culture – Havana
    Times.org – http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=107808