3
   

Che Guavara...forty years on.

 
 
Ramafuchs
 
  0  
Reply Sun 7 Oct, 2007 05:31 pm
I am not objective.
I grew up under communism.
I dislike what communism was when I was growing up
and
I dislike what Cuba is today.

Rama, I was just commenting on the logic of quoting selective statements. Either think about it, or just forget it. Up to you.

While I feel sorry for your past
I earnestly wish and hope a lovely non-communist peaceful life.
Your disltaste about Cuba is born out of your past life.
I am a strong supporter of non-violence ( which I had aired umpteen times here and elsewhere)
In my previous response the first word is yes= Yes it is not logic) .
There are some rare corners in the world where Communism is still the consumer PRODUCT WITHOUT MACARTHYSIM OR BIGMAGISM.
Kalkutta( west bengal) and Kerala - two states in India persue a decent life for all and not for a few handpicked easy chair intellectuals.( Sorry for my offensive shiboleths)
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Oct, 2007 05:43 pm
Quote:
Kalkutta( west bengal) and Kerala - two states in India persue a decent life for all and not for a few handpicked easy chair intellectuals.( Sorry for my offensive shiboleths)


Absolutely not true. Sorry, I had to say it. As chance would have it, I have been to both several times. Kalkutta should not even be on the list - it has high rates of poverty and homelessness, even in comparison to the rest of India, not to even mention outside. Infrastructure - far poorer than in Delhi or even Mumbai.
But let's look at Kerala, if you will. Kerala did strive and its 'communist' (only in name) government did pave the roads, and there is a high level of literacy. But, that wasn't a communist government. If it was, other parties would be outlawed, there would be a monopoly of one party installed. You are talking about social democracy, which is a very different animal (that I can completely get on board with). If Kerala was a communism, anyone opposing the ruling party would wind up in prison or dead, because they have not 'transformed'. Because they would be 'counterrevolutionaries. But that wasn't the case. Kerala had successful rubber, tea, coffee, black pepper business and was striving.

How is Kerala doing these days? Getting poorer (or at least less advantaged compared to other states) every year. Why? Rubber is cheaper in Malaysia, tea is cheaper in China. I have toured the plantations near Vagamon -all closed down. What is giving the people major source of living in Kerala? The Coca -Cola factory, the trademark of capitalism.
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Oct, 2007 05:44 pm
oh, and about the "shiboleths" - I recommend more caution. You have absolutely no idea who on this board is a rocking chair intellectual and who is not. :wink:
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hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Oct, 2007 05:48 pm
nimh wrote :

Quote:
That hardly relativates the violence - dogmatic, ruthless and often futile violence - that he inflicted on scores of people, though. The world may have been a different place, but people then were no less hurt by torture and political terror than they are now. And they resented it no less either.


i certainly agree with your point of view .
imo once revolutions start , they are like a stone rolling down a hill ... hard to stop and might even start an avalanche .

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
just started reading : CHURCHILL - a history of the english-speaking peoples .
the "revolutions" that took place in england over the centuries (perhaps simply "changes" in style of government or similar ) , cost the lives of untold number of people and carried on for long periods of time .
would it have been better if those "revolutions/changes" had NOT taken place ?
i'd say :we'll never know .
hbg
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Oct, 2007 05:56 pm
Exactly, hamburger. People would be either worse off, or better off....who the heck knows.

Another 'what if' question: If Che Guevara would have had an army the size of U.S. Army at his disposal, what would have happened? And, would the world have become a better place?

Again, we'll never know, but I shudder to even imagine that.
0 Replies
 
Ramafuchs
 
  0  
Reply Sun 7 Oct, 2007 06:05 pm
Dagmaraka
Thanks for your response .
I wish you all the best in life. By the word you i mean all your friends and relatives.
I live in Germany a partial consume oriented compassionate conservative country controlled by the haves.
It is also a country which had a dirty, nasty, despicable 13 years of barbarism.
I belong to a party which isupholding my views.
Gandhi cum Karl Marx.
.I will die with decency but till my death comes I will never stop exposing hypocracy.
My words here are getting too hot for the cool consumers for which I have no repentense nor regret.
Thanks a lot for carrying coal to the new castle.
I mean about Indian DREAMS in Kerala and Calcutta.
Let me stick to the topic and let me pay my respects and regards to you once again.
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  2  
Reply Sun 7 Oct, 2007 06:09 pm
you said absolutely nothing in this post, Rama. What DREAMS in Kalkutta and Kerala? And what about them?
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Oct, 2007 06:19 pm
I could swear the Paul Berman mentioned on Wiki -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Berman is the same guy I saw doing solo performance, very sardonic, but I guess I'm out to lunch on that. Or maybe there are two guys with lib reputations, one not showing up early on google listings.

Anyway, hah, he's right of me.. but not all so far, which is why I think of myself as middle of the road.

I sure get rage against brutal regimes, and how hard it is to not go there in a kind of savior retaliation, how inconceivable it could be to not go there (unwise.. equal and opposite reactions - if only tactically, brutal retaliation is dumb in my opinion, most of the time).

So, whatever I burble about that, I don't see Che as a smartie, though I won't dismiss that his anger was right at some point.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Sun 7 Oct, 2007 06:28 pm
dlowan wrote:

I do think from the little I know that your comment above is rather harsh....I would have thought there were dragons enough in his world to justify a commitment to doing something about them? I'd be interested in some further understanding of your reason for saying that.


No doubt, he had plenty of legitimate reasons to wish for revolution, but my personal take is that he's the type of person who was drawn to violence out of predisposition.

From all accounts, he was always violent and aggressive, even as a child in sports he was known for this and his childhood nickname loosely translates to "Raging". He always wanted to be a soldier and I see the cause as secondary to his personality as motivation for his activities.

In Cuba Castro constantly had to keep him in check and said that his weakness was his "excessively aggressive quality".

My personal take is that this was dispositional more so than situational.

Quote:

If you have the inclination, I'd be interested in hearing what you would have thought to be reasonable actions in Che's circumstances.


I would have been less confrontational than he was. He had trouble gaining support from his own political peers due to his penchant for confrontation.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Oct, 2007 07:34 pm
Robert Gentel wrote:
dlowan wrote:

I do think from the little I know that your comment above is rather harsh....I would have thought there were dragons enough in his world to justify a commitment to doing something about them? I'd be interested in some further understanding of your reason for saying that.


No doubt, he had plenty of legitimate reasons to wish for revolution, but my personal take is that he's the type of person who was drawn to violence out of predisposition.

From all accounts, he was always violent and aggressive, even as a child in sports he was known for this and his childhood nickname loosely translates to "Raging". He always wanted to be a soldier and I see the cause as secondary to his personality as motivation for his activities.

In Cuba Castro constantly had to keep him in check and said that his weakness was his "excessively aggressive quality".

My personal take is that this was dispositional more so than situational.




Ah, interesting, I didn't know that.


If you have the inclination, I'd be interested in hearing what you would have thought to be reasonable actions in Che's circumstances.


Robert Gentel wrote:
[I would have been less confrontational than he was. He had trouble gaining support from his own political peers due to his penchant for confrontation.
0 Replies
 
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Oct, 2007 07:45 pm
I was never a fan of Che but I did see the Motorcycle Diaries. I have no opinion of Che except as a curiosity.
nimh
 
  3  
Reply Sun 7 Oct, 2007 07:45 pm
edgarblythe wrote:
Violence was being used, by superior forces, before and after Che made his try. Anybody who thinks the US forces were going to dialog for a better world does not know the situation, as it existed on the ground, then. Torture and killing by dictators was allowed by the Americans. They had CIA active in all trouble spots.

Right, but isnt this just a "they did it too" argument?

I know the CIA was undermining any leftwing government in the world it could hit, democratic ones included. I know that the US, through the CIA, supported coup d'etats and dictatorships and terror against civilian movements across Latin-America and beyond. I know all that.

But - and? Does Che's and Castro's wanton terror against any Cubans opposed to their new regime, their disastrous economic and agricultural mismanagement that caused new waves of hunger in the countryside, their oppression of all dissent, become any more palatable by pointing out that the CIA and Batista were really, really bad as well?

No, the US wasnt "going to dialog for a better world", but thats a bit of a straw man since nobody here so far has said it was -- but yeah, and? Did that justify, or even necessitate the communist terror of the likes of Che?

Hell, I think that Cuba's communists had actually stood a better chance of effectively opposing the US and its machinations if it had refrained from the kind of terror Che's men unleashed and the kind of dictatorship Castro imposed, and instead had pursued a more plural and less crazed leftist course. By actually acting like the brutes that US propaganda made them out to be from the start, they were, if anything, playing into the hands of the CIA.
nimh
 
  3  
Reply Sun 7 Oct, 2007 07:47 pm
dagmaraka wrote:
But, that wasn't a communist government. If it was, other parties would be outlawed, there would be a monopoly of one party installed. [..] If Kerala was a communism, anyone opposing the ruling party would wind up in prison or dead, because they have not 'transformed'. Because they would be 'counterrevolutionaries.

Eh.

I'm pretty fiercely anti-communist myself, as my previous posts in this thread attest. But I dont think I buy into this logic here.

Basically yoú appear to be saying - I lived in a communist state - so I know what communism is, it's a system that works like the one I lived under did - ergo, any other entity that calls itself communist but doesnt fit the model of the communism I know, is not really communist.

That doesnt work.

"Communist", like "socialist" - a label claimed by everyone from soft-pedalling French social-democrats to hardline Soviet communists - in the end is a label that has been used by a variety of people and parties to describe a variety of far-left, revolutionary socialist political programs and strategies. As much as we think we know what the real and proper definition is, it is not really up to any of us to decide which of the self-described communists is really communist, and which ones aren't.

Now I know nothing about India. But take Western Europe for example. Communist parties there were slavish followers of the Moscow line for several decades. But from Tito onwards, different definitions of what communism should be about and how communist politics should be pursued developed over time. So-called "Euro-communism" emerged, with the Italian Communist Party leading the way and several others (including the Dutch, eventually) following. "Euro-communists" still aimed to arrive at a communist society in the end. But they no longer envisaged that communist society as the Soviet model where "anyone opposing the ruling party would wind up in prison or dead", and they no longer envisaged a Moscow-directed trajectory as the way to get there.

Were they therefore no longer "real" communists? Well they certainly thought they were. And they were certainly not regular social-democrats either, since they still proponed to achieve a system change, not just a gradual adaptation of the existing capitalist society.

Now the Euro-communists never got to found any actual communist state, of course. So we dont know what would have happened. What we do know is that the system they proposed was not the one you describe - and yet they were communists - they described themselves as such, and were described by all other political players as such, and still are described as such in the historical works.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Oct, 2007 07:50 pm
Che - and Castro - would have been ignored, if they sought dialog or peaceful protest. The murdered nuns are an example of how peaceful protests were met.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Sun 7 Oct, 2007 08:37 pm
Edgar,

You keep focusing on the violence against the "enemy" which is misleading since we are talking about their penchant for violent subjugation of their own people. I'm not faulting them for starting violent revolutions alone but their penchant for violence in general.

Of course a violent coup was the only way to obtain regime change in Cuba. Yes you aren't going to "dialog" your way into Batista's resignation.

But that has nothing to do with the fact that once their achieved their revolution they began to execute and torture people to keep the power they had wrested from their "enemies".

Once they won, they kept killing people to stay on top. Che was a brutal executioner. And this has absolutely nothing to do with US colonialism and everything to do with these particular individuals having predispositions for violence and being megalomaniacs.

Che always wanted "action". He wasn't ever happy being a peaceful cog in the revolution and he consistently sought more violent parts to play in the movements he joined. I am not saying they should have tried to protest peacefully against their foreign enemies. I am criticizing them for wanton murder of their own people and brutal subjugation of their own people.
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Oct, 2007 08:51 pm
no, nimh. i am nowhere saying that i lived under communism and thus i and only i know what it looks like. (If I wanted to say it , I would have.)

but i would argue whether the Kerala communist party really lead a communist government and state. After all, abolishing parties (there's only to be the vanguard at the beginning) and abolishing classes and property are among the core ideas of communism. Sure you can stretch it, but if you're running a capitalist economy in a pluralist country, ummm, that's too far.
I don't doubt that the followers see themselves as convinced communists, but that's the philosophical level. we're talking systems. Kerala was certainly NOT a communist state by any stretch of imagination, even if ruled by the communist party. India is a democratic (arguably) federation with a plenty capitalistic economy, even in Kerala. Communist party? Whatever, if they want to call themselves that, I don't object. Communist state? Absolutely wasn't. See the difference? That is all I am saying.
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  2  
Reply Sun 7 Oct, 2007 08:59 pm
I do have a question though, nimh: where do you draw a line then between a communist and a social democratic state? if everything is stretchy like you describe, they sort of morph together, which is not an idea that appeals to me. I mean, there are real differences in the ideas behind those two ideal systems, aren't there?

eh, another edit: i want to stress again that you're talking about movements and organizations based on ideas and me about systems of representation. i'm curious about the system of representation (just to clarify). how does one make the distinction there?
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Oct, 2007 09:23 pm
"since we are talking about their penchant for violent subjugation of their own people."

We are discussing Che, which means we are discussing all takes on the subject.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Sun 7 Oct, 2007 09:26 pm
edgarblythe wrote:
"since we are talking about their penchant for violent subjugation of their own people."

We are discussing Che, which means we are discussing all takes on the subject.


Yes but the criticism of his violence in particular on this thread isn't about all aspects of his violence.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Oct, 2007 09:29 pm
Robert Gentel wrote:
edgarblythe wrote:
"since we are talking about their penchant for violent subjugation of their own people."

We are discussing Che, which means we are discussing all takes on the subject.


Yes but the criticism of his violence in particular on this thread isn't about all aspects of his violence.


You go on with your posts and I shall go on with mine, and that's all I have by way of reply.
0 Replies
 
 

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