[Marxism] Che again

Jurriaan Bendien andromeda246 at hetnet.nl
Sat May 22 06:27:43 MDT 2004

Thanks to Phil and Lüko for comments. I don't claim to be expert on Che's
life and work, but most of the stuff I read on that wasn't very satisfactory
from my point of view, it doesn't tell me what I want to know. I will have
to go there to understand it, I expect. You can say that nothing happened to
Che on his motorcycle trip through Latin America... except that he got
killed, and then the question arises whether taking that risk (i.e. moving
about without any body guard, in his situation) was worth it. I did get
Tablada's book quite some time ago, but it doesn't really tell me what I
want to know either, i.e. it is too "ideological".

Phil writes Che "epitomises a revolutionary spirit that is far too often
absent in the 'revolutionary' left (the left which *knows* all about how to
make a revolution, preferably in a country a long way away, but isn't
prepared to do anything too radical in its own country)." Indeed, Che was an
innovator. I haven't talked much about the Dutch situation, because the Left
here "knows" so much better than I do anyway, so at most I can be a gadfly.
Dutch people are very concerned with being boss, and who is the boss (the
word "boss" is derived from the Dutch word "baas") and that means it's
rarely possible to have interesting discussions with them. It's difficult to
have an intelligent political discussion where I live anyhow, without dogma,
prejudice or subtexts.

Apart from that, I don't concern myself with "how to make a revolution", my
understanding is that this is a pseudo-question. I made my comment in
response to a film review, because, whatever my respect for or interest in
Che's legacy, I don't support the romanticisation or mythologisation of Che,
the religion or cult of Che, that is all (possibly the "spiritual effect" he
had, by far exceeded the real effect he had by his actions, and as I said I
think many of his ventures just didn't have much tangible effect). That
aside, my interest is in how the Castro's government actually gave content
to internationalism and international solidarity, the morality of it, and
the specific policies of it.


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