Monday, May 24, 2004

The Misunderstanding about Che Guevara

I have seen very strong comments against the pushing of Che Guevara and more so I am amazed about the unusual fame he gets lately, so I tried to dig a bit about this role-model of a rebel.

It seems that we have all misunderstood "Che Guevara"-ism, as I tend to call it. Most of todays admirers of this "heroe" believe in him, in an innocent, but sometimes dangerous way. Che Guevara is not a follower of communism (like Castro, his fellow mate in the liberation of Cuba), but is clearly a Marxist. This means that he is an enemy of the strict totalitarian states like Cuba. He was once asked, whether he believed that there would be a free country (while he was on Cuba). "What? In Cuba?", he said laughing. So, Cuba wasn't a role-modle for a socialist country in his opinion.
However, this is merely history stuff and most "kids" of todays Hype are not using Che as either Communist or terribly misguided Marxist.

Today, Che Guevara is seen as the Spirit of rebellion, which means a movement against the status quo. As much as I mistrust the roots of this believe, I still like that children don't accept the state as an unquestionable object and I also think that the Hype around Che is more about fashion, than morality or ideology. Most children don't even know much about Che Guevara, except that he was a rebel and somehow cool. So, they don't get in touch with his misguided ideals. This might be troubling on the one side, because it shows the lack of knowledge nowadays, but it also decreases the actual danger of Che Guevara.
Thereby, I see no danger in having a new wave of Che Guevara fashion, if he is used as a motif of rebellion against state, rather than a supporter of Marxism.

On another side note, the Commandante Che Guevara wasn't an easy figure and you couldn't easily put him on the moral evil side, because he acted very human during the war. He was harsh and deadly against any kind of disobeying orders and other war crimes (oftened excercising death penalty), but on the other side he showed mercy and human reason towards POW (Prisoners of War). He disarmed his POWs and sent them back home, if they hadn't commited any crimes against the public (literally).

In contrast to this noble field behaviour stands his time as a leader of a prison, where he had 500 executions observed and ordered. Che even showed personal interest in the torturing and interrogation of some of these (mostly) "political convicts", which had commited crimes of thought (traditional Marxist/Communist crimes, implying that the intention is equal to the deed).

So, it is yours to judge the whole case. I dislike the historical figure, but I can live with the role-model of a rebel against the establishment, questioning that what others accepted as a truth.


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