Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Viva Idiotos

It's funny how those who have taken so many mind-altering drugs claim, somewhat arrogantly, that they have a better grasp of history. The Che lovers form part of this deluded crow. This is an old and revisited point of consternation for me, but regardless:

Rather than a Christian romantic, Guevara was a ruthless and dogmatic Marxist, who stood not for liberation but for a new tyranny. In the Sierra Maestra, he shot those suspected of treachery; in victory, Mr Castro placed him in charge of the firing squads that executed “counter-revolutionaries”; as minister of industries, Guevara advocated expropriation down to the last farm and shop. His exhortation to guerrilla warfare, irrespective of political circumstance, lured thousands of idealistic Latin Americans to their deaths, helped to create brutal dictatorships and delayed the achievement of democracy.

Sadly, Guevara's example is invoked not just by teenagers but by some Latin American governments. In Venezuela, Hugo Chávez wants to create the guevarista “new man” (see article), just when Cuba is having second thoughts. As Jorge Castañeda, one of Guevara's biographers, notes, Che's lingering influence has retarded the emergence of a modern, democratic left in parts of Latin America. Sadly, most of those who buy the T-shirt neither know nor care.


On deaf ears, indeed.

4 Comments:

Anonymous the reverend dalaillama said...

Vive La Che!!

He Who Stands for Peace and Love!!!!!!

Die all ye capitalist dogs that venture here!!

10:38 am  
Blogger Engels said...

His original obituary from the Economist

10:47 am  
Blogger Aidan said...

Here's a priceless bit from Oliver Kamm:

In any event, he and I are on later. McCann had the bright idea to claim simultaneously that Guevara's taste for revolutionary violence was (a) taken out of context, and (b) comparable anyway to the activities of the ANC under apartheid. In case you want to check the second assertion, you should note that Nelson Mandela has never shot without trial teenage members of his own organisation for petty pilfering, or authorised the execution of his party comrades on grounds of their ideological deviation.

7:12 am  
Blogger Engels said...

You're really grasping at straws when Che the "heartless killing machine" is your idol. Very telling.

10:18 am  

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