The Arizona Desert Lamp

Sheer Disgust

Posted in Politics by Evan Lisull on 10 October 2008

How else to describe the proper reaction to this story from the Wildcat today, entitled “Che inspires students 41 years after death” ? From the article:

“Che was killed on October 9, 1967. We are using this day to celebrate his life,” said Jessica Risco, adviser at the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership and organizer of the film screening. “My hope is that it will inspire people to think about what it means to be a revolutionary and what sort of revolutions we need to see in our society today.”

Indeed, if there’s anything we need, its more of the senseless violence of the 1960s. With AKs to Angola! Decapitate the capitalist pigs! Burn down the government buildings! To arms, my neo-Jacobins!

Of course, many college students have become enamored with The Motorcycle Diaries, the film that was shown at Gallagher Theatre in conjunction with Che’s death. The film, of course, stops the moment Che decides to become a revolutionary. And thus ignores the rest of his life. A few of his better moments:

“If the missiles had remained we would have used them against the very heart of America including New York. We must never establish peaceful coexistence. In this struggle to the death between two systems we must gain the ultimate victory. We must walk the path of liberation even if it costs millions of atomic victims.”
-Statement in an interview with a reporter for the London Daily Worker (November 1962), quoted in The Nuclear Deception : Nikita Khrushchev and the Cuban Missile Crisis (2002) by Servando Gonzalez, p. 111; and Fidel : Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant (2005) by Humberto Fontova, p. 24

“I ended the problem giving him a shot with a .32 pistol in the right side of the brain, with exit orifice in the right temporal. He gasped for a little while and was dead. Upon proceeding to remove his belongings I couldn’t get off the watch tied by a chain to his belt, and then he told me in a steady voice farther away than fear: “Yank it off, boy, what does it matter.” I did so and his possessions were now mine.”
-Diary entry from Sierra Maestra on the execution of Eutimio Guerra as an anti-revolutionary spy (January 1957), quoted in Che Guevara : A Revolutionary Life (1997) by Jon Lee Anderson

“To send men to the firing squad, judicial proof is unnecessary. These procedures are an archaic bourgeois detail. This is a revolution! And a revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate.”
-As quoted in The Cuban Revolution : Years of Promise (2005) by Teo A. Babun and Victor Andres Triay, p. 57; also in The New American Revolution : Using the Power of the Individual to Save Our Nation from Extremists (2005) by Tammy Bruce, p. 204

“Violence is not the monopoly of the exploiters and as such the exploited can use it too and, moreover, ought to use it when the moment arrives.”
-Method of Guerrilla Warfare (1963)

Sadly, none of this was brought up at the event; it’s about social justice, not real justice. Instead, we get dialogue such as this:

“What does it mean to be a revolutionary?” Risco asked the group of students. “Who inspires you to be a revolutionary? How can you inspire others to create a revolution in their daily lives?”

One student wrote anonymously, “Don’t be afraid to voice your opinions; to be a revolutionary you must stand up for the oppressed and stand up for what you believe in.”

Nutritional sciences senior Alan Cordero agreed.

“To be a revolutionary doesn’t mean you have to do something major . . . You have to cause change from the norm. It doesn’t even have to be good or be positive, it just has to be a change [emphasis added- EML].”

That’s right! Who cares if Cubans still suffer under a repressive regime because of communist rule; social justice has been achieved! It’s not surprising that such an event should be held by the Social Justice division of CSIL; yet something tells me that CSIL won’t be celebrating the birth of Edmund Burke this January.

However, Fate has fittingly given Che one final twist with the knife of Irony, and the ardent anti-communist now is one of the more popular capitalist icons in Western Civilization. We can only hope that each surburban teenager donning a Che t-shirt gives him a little singe in whichever Hell he resides.


For more information on Che’s true legacy, read here, here, here, and here. And, if you’re feeling really inspired, buy the wonderful anti-Che t-shirt from Bureaucrash.


One Response

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  1. […] of view, I reckon, but certainly any self-respecting revolutionary deserves better than the kind of empty-headed bravura Evan rightly criticizes. He’s not the first former Wildcat columnist to register his disgust with the Che cult, […]

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