By David Arthur Walters THE MIAMI MIRROR

Monday, February 21, 2005 MIAMI—In Cuba Confidential, Love and Vengeance in Miami and Havana, journalist Ann Louise Bardach mentioned her interview with one of Fidel Castro's amours, 'Graciela'. Graciela said she began seeing Fidel in 1963, when she was working as a Tropicana dancer at the ripe young age of 14. The trysts usually took place at the Habana Libre, where Fidel proved to be "the most tender of lovers." Fidel, she recalled, kept a copy of Gustav le Bon's book, The Crowd—A Study of the Popular Mind, on his bed stand, and was very much fascinated by it at the time. Gustave Le Bon (1841-1931) was a French sociologist best known for his study of the psychology of crowds.. Sigmund Freud, like Fidel Castro, found Le Bon's work quite fascinating and useful although he disagreed with some of his findings. Le Bon argued in Les Lois psychologiques de l'evolution des peuples (1894) that history is the product of racial or national character, dominated not by intelligence but by emotions. Since current science and political correctness informs us that we are all mongrels of one sort or another, and that there is no such thing as diverse human races in the biological sense, or at least none that can be ascertained from gross physical appearance, we might be better off returning to the old, rather loose meaning of race connoting the native or national culture of peoples; that is, Page 1 of 5

the folkways of diverse folk. We might avoid the controversial term, „race‟, altogether, and refer to culturalism instead of racism. We inherent the habits of the society into which we are born, habits that we might naturally rebel against to one degree or another even at an early age. Modern societies encourage such individual rebellion; but on the whole we are given to accept without question the mores we know and depend on for our livelihood and lives. We are inducted into our cultures by means of pain and pleasure, hence we are not surprised by Le Bon's assertion, that emotion and not intelligence is our cultural guide. A simple song and dance might do more to motivate a people to make love or war than a sermon or a revolutionary manifesto. Yet human progress, if there be any such thing, depends on the exercise of the moral or mental powers peculiar to human nature—the term moral was once synonymous with mental. We have a choice to consider, and that choice is not simply between pain and pleasure; we may choose present pain for future gain, perhaps to avoid suffering and to extend the life of the race. Ascetic idealists reject the sensationalist perspective altogether and embrace a religion of virtual suicide, a life of denial, and even be happy in their suffering, giving the lie to the utilitarian definition of Happiness. So it would seem that progress is a product of mental work. Of course Le Bon, a member of the intellectual elite, said that true progress is the work of an intellectual elite. Crowds as a group, he noted, are very low in intelligence. Of course individuals submerged in crowds are capable of great sacrifices, of altruistic, heroic acts, but more likely than not their behavior is brutish. Antiintellectuals fear and hate intellectuals because intellectuals are often lone wolves who are critical of the inherently conservative crowd. "To believe in the predominance among crowds of revolutionary instincts," wrote Le Bon, "would be to misconstrue entirely their psychology.... Abandoned to themselves, they soon become weary of disorder, and instinctively turn to servitude... It is difficult to understand history, and popular revolutions in particular, if one does not take sufficiently into account the profoundly conservative instincts of crowds. They may be desirous, it is true, of changing the names of their institutions, and to obtain these changes they accomplish at times even violent revolutions, but the essence of these institutions is too much the expression of hereditary needs of the race for them not invariably to abide by it.... In fact, they possess conservative instincts as indestructible as those of all primitive beings.... It is fortunate for the progress of civilization that the power of crowds only began to exist when the great discoveries of science and industry had already been effected." Fidel Castro, a lawyer, revolutionist, and career dictator, was hardly a gregarious individual in his youth. He was a lone wolf of no mean intellect. Yet he professed a fanatic feeling for his people, the Cuban crowd. A crowd provides security of numbers, and no matter how miserable it might be, misery loves company. People are afraid of intelligence lest it be directed against them. The crowd will tolerate a bureaucratic intelligentsia or controlling apparatus that conserves the status quo, but it is generally intolerant of radical intellectuals who use their critical intellects to challenge the social structure of the crowd. The crowd, however, will upon occasion break with

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received authority and revolt; at that moment there is no lack of revolutionary leaders to lead the way into the anarchy and chaos that breeds the need for a dictator to restore law and order. No, the crowd does not want anarchy for very long after pent-up emotions are released. The crowd prefers order. The people want a dictator in violent times of war and revolution. People do not want to perish in their chambers, debating one another as to what course of action to take. A dictator is bound to be popular at the outset of the disturbance, and even more so if he espouses "democratic" ideas. Caesar is the classical model of a popular dictator hence the academic references to “Caesarism.” Fidel Castro was such a dictator. When the honeymoon was over and the economy went south, Fidel Castro proceeded to contradict his liberal democratic principles. Take free speech, the most elementary of liberties. Fidel Castro put his gun on the table and said criticism would only be allowed within the Revolution; that is, people could only speak freely for the Revolution, not against it. But in 1959, Castro said, in response to the accusation that he was a communist, "If the theory is accepted that someone has a right to suppress others' rights, the easiest thing for the Revolution would be to suppress the right to speak of everyone except those who are members of the revolutionary government. But that would not be democratic, nor is it our philosophy, for clearly the right to think and to speak belongs to all equally." Fidel Castro is hardly unique in his hypocrisy and self-contradictory behavior. Political leaders tend to make liars of themselves. Indeed, politicians, many of whom are lawyers, seem to be professional liars and hypocrites. As Carl Schmitt, a German doctor of jurisprudence known for his theory of the Total and who penned a legal justification for Hitler‟s indefinite suspension of the Weimar constitution due to national emergencies, and whose works are admired by U.S. neoconservatives, pointed out that the members of a crowd have diverse and often opposing opinions; a so-called democratic leader must smooth over their differences with lies. Hitler, for instance, was adept at promising people with clashing interests that he could fulfill all their wishes at the same time. Once a leader is elected, the democratically crowd would ideally get out of his way so that he can do the right thing. In any event, politicians have had a modern philosophy of hypocrisy to justify their contradictions ever since Machiavelli laid down his principles, just in case they do not wish to refer, like Luther, to "God's mysteries" for their justifications. Politicians, to excuse their vacillations, may say they must change with the times hence they are "pragmatists" despite the ideologies they professed during the campaigns. They are, after all, required to take oath of hypocrisy, committing themselves to obey the people's will regardless of the religious and political principles they advertised to win high office. No doubt Fidel Castro read Le Bon's book on crowds several times over. It was a revolutionary or ground-breaking sociology book. The practice of sociology is not a highly paid profession, at least not for lowly social workers. Sociology smacks of socialism, yet its principles do come in handy in the higher professions, especially so among pragmatic intellectuals and opportunists. Le Bon's book is a good self-help book for aspiring dictators whether of the right or left. They will learn therein the importance of personal charisma or magnetism, of employing emotional appeals and taking advantage of imagination after inducing people to fall asleep on their feet, to suspend judgment that they shall obey suggestions in their hypnotic state. Page 3 of 5


Fidel Castro, the Latin dictator who believed the Cuban Revolution to be unlike any other revolution, must have paused at length on the subchapter, 'The Intolerance, Dictatorship, and Conservatism of Crowds.' Le Bon sets the emotional Latin "race" apart from others; the reader is left to decide whether he draws the correct distinction: "Dictatorialness and intolerance are common to all categories of crowds, but they are met with in a varying degree of intensity. Here, once more, reappears that fundamental notion of race which dominates all the feelings and all the thoughts of men. It is more especially in Latin crowds that authoritativeness and intolerance are found developed in the highest measure. In fact, their development is such in crowds of Latin origin that they have entirely destroyed that sentiment of the independence of the individual so powerful in the Anglo-Saxon. "Latin crowds are only concerned with the collective independence of the sect to which they belong, and the characteristic feature of their conception of independence is the need they experience of bringing those who are in disagreement with themselves into immediate and violent subjection to their beliefs. Among the Latin races the Jacobins of every epoch, from those of the Inquisition downwards, have never been able to attain to a different conception of liberty." We have certainly noticed a high incidence of revolution among the mixed Latin Americans, in contrast to the relative stability of the Anglo-Americans, often in rebellion against the predatory colonial practices of "protestant" individualism. However that may be, the Cuban Revolution was not a permanent revolution. And as far as many people are concerned, Cuba is not really a socialist state nor is Castro really a dictator of the proletariat. He most assuredly is no longer the Caesarian dictator he aspired to be. The consensus seems to be that he is an opportunist and a tyrant. Of course he has his friends, and some of the socialist principles he adheres to are warmly regarded by many millions of people throughout the world. The assassins' knives, poisons, bullets and bombs have all fallen short of the hated mark. That he has not been murdered by his own people amazes his enemies, who fear for the divine right of the few to amass private property, particularly the means to produce more and more property for themselves. Perhaps Le Bon can shed some general light on Castro's survival: "Authoritativeness and intolerance are sentiments of which crowds have a very clear notion, which they easily conceive and which they entertain as readily as they put them in practice when once they are imposed upon them. Crowds exhibit a docile respect for force, and are but slightly impressed by kindness, which for them is scarcely other than a form of weakness. Their sympathies have never been bestowed on easy-going masters, but on tyrants who vigorously oppressed them. It is to these that they erect the loftiest statues. It is true that they willingly trample on the despot whom they have stripped of his power, but it is because, having lost his strength, he has resumed his place among the people, who are to be despised because they are not to be feared. They type of hero dear to crowds will always have the semblance of a hero. His insignia attracts them, his authority overawes them, and his sword instills them with fear."

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That makes sense: for example, we observe that Chile's Pinochet and Peru's Fujimori, both former heads of state, among other abusive leaders on the American continent, remain relatively popular among their peoples despite the brutality and corruption directed by. Poor Fidel Castro literally fell flat on his face recently, giving his many enemies cause to hope that the end is nigh for him and his regime. The "Miami terrorists", as Castro calls them, and their backers in Washington, have at ready another regime to impose on Cuba in the name of their brand of liberal capitalist democracy and one-god dictatorial religion. They can hardly wait, and they have not been sitting on their thumbs: they have been putting the screws on Cuban families, restricting the flow of money and relatives to the island in hopes that the suffering will finally cause Cuban citizens to murder the Castro family and clique in their sleep, and the generals as well if they do not come over to the "neoliberal" or "fascist" side hated so much by Castro—he was in fact a fascist in his younger days, and only donned his red dress when the United States spurned him. Perhaps there will be an uprising any day now, then another long period of servitude, but we doubt it. "A crowd is always ready to revolt against a feeble and to bow down servilely before a strong authority. Should the strength of authority be intermittent, the crowd, always obedient to its extreme sentiments, passes alternately from anarchy to servitude, and from servitude to anarchy." Now Fidel Castro is old. He fell down and broke some bones. All the king‟s men may not put him together again. Long, long ago, people used to kill and eat their chief when he lost his teeth, a sure sign of weakness. Someone was always ready to take his place. The king is dead, long live the king! Quoted: The Crowd - A Study of the Popular Mind, New York: Viking, 1960

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