Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

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Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Glmclain » Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:34 pm UTC

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Lazar » Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:50 pm UTC

Authoritarianism ≠ fascism. Anyway, I think Che became a far leftist icon for some of the same reasons that Trotsky did - he was a fighting intellectual, and he died as a "victim" figure without having become dictator.
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Glmclain » Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:55 pm UTC

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Zanmanoodle » Sun Sep 04, 2011 1:32 am UTC

If reading too much speculative fiction has taught me anything, it's that a utopian political system is A) impossible, and B) not a utopia if you have to slaughter people to get there.

In a way, he was kind of like Sarah Palin. Looks great on a t-shirt, lots of charisma, and totally clueless.

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby PeterCai » Sun Sep 04, 2011 5:39 am UTC

next topic: us founding fathers: hero or scum?

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Vaniver » Sun Sep 04, 2011 4:22 pm UTC

Scum.

PeterCai wrote:next topic: us founding fathers: hero or scum?
Hero scum. (Mostly hero, though.)
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Zamfir » Sun Sep 04, 2011 5:00 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:Scum.

PeterCai wrote:next topic: us founding fathers: hero or scum?
Hero scum. (Mostly hero, though.)

If you're going to have a "hero scum" category", how can Guevara be non-hero scum? He was clearly heroic, arguably more than anything else. Presumably more than quite some founding fathers, whose shared characteristic was going to political conferences. Whatever the use of conferences, they're not heroic.

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Zanmanoodle » Sun Sep 04, 2011 5:42 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:
Vaniver wrote:Scum.

PeterCai wrote:next topic: us founding fathers: hero or scum?
Hero scum. (Mostly hero, though.)

If you're going to have a "hero scum" category", how can Guevara be non-hero scum? He was clearly heroic, arguably more than anything else. Presumably more than quite some founding fathers, whose shared characteristic was going to political conferences. Whatever the use of conferences, they're not heroic.


The Founding Fathers created a lasting (so far) Democratic Republic that is currently pretty damn wealthy and powerful.

Che helped install a fascist dictator that assassinated dissenters and political opponents.

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Thesh » Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:03 pm UTC

Che was idealistic, and he had good intentions (ending poverty, classism). His intention was to help the lives of the people of Latin America, starting with Cuba. Unfortunately, Communism failed to accomplish what he thought it would. Good intentions, poor execution. Was he an evil person? I don't think so. As for the deaths that he caused, well, that's war. People die, leaders are assassinated. It's nothing new.
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby aoeu » Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:25 pm UTC

Zanmanoodle wrote:
Zamfir wrote:
Vaniver wrote:Scum.

PeterCai wrote:next topic: us founding fathers: hero or scum?
Hero scum. (Mostly hero, though.)

If you're going to have a "hero scum" category", how can Guevara be non-hero scum? He was clearly heroic, arguably more than anything else. Presumably more than quite some founding fathers, whose shared characteristic was going to political conferences. Whatever the use of conferences, they're not heroic.


The Founding Fathers created a lasting (so far) Democratic Republic that is currently pretty damn wealthy and powerful.

Che helped install a fascist dictator that assassinated dissenters and political opponents.

The endings of your sentences aren't exclusive.

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Zamfir » Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:35 pm UTC

Zanmanoodle wrote:The Founding Fathers created a lasting (so far) Democratic Republic that is currently pretty damn wealthy and powerful.

Che helped install a fascist dictator that assassinated dissenters and political opponents.

But what does that have to do with heroism? If anything, wealthy democratic countries tend to tend to have very non-heroic, greyish bureaucratic leadership. While heroic leaders are a fairly reliable warning of problems.

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby xkcd follower » Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:27 pm UTC

Allow me to be placed on this list now. Che may be frowned upon in modern society, but he was a hero 50 years ago. The countries he inspired to rebel were places with brutal leaders who did nothing for the people.

He helped those who needed help at that time (The poor) and thus got so much support until his death in Bolivia. Talking to someone who sees Che as a major influence in the Americas in the 1950s, I would support him as one of the greats of the 20th century just in his impact.

Also, my avatar and signature kinda doesn't help my case, so ignore them.
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Glmclain » Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:38 pm UTC

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby SecondTalon » Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:50 pm UTC

..It's hilarious that you think Communism is a form of government.
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby RoberII » Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:54 pm UTC

While a case can be made that Cuba is fascists, such a case would have to oversimplify things. Cuba has been under siege by the US since the revolution, and being under attack by a powerful enemy has never made a society freer - just think of the US reaction to 9/11 and the war on terror. Now add 40 years and several hundred assassination attempts and an invasion. Not that that's an excuse for the human rights abuses that go on - all I'm trying to say is that those abuses are not necessarily inherent to communism.


As for Che, sign me up for "a bit of both". He certainly fought dirty, but no dirtier than his enemies, though it makes me hard for me to call him a hero. Nelson Mandela and Ghandi are heroes - all soldiers are in another category, somewhere between "heroes" and "scum", often overlapping.

(Come to think of it, Ghandi could be kind of a dick as well - but I digress)
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Glmclain » Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:57 pm UTC

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby xkcd follower » Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:02 pm UTC

Communism is not a government, it is a theology. IF you are interested, I put a puzzle about that viewtopic.php?f=3&t=74127 on my page.

And you can't just look at Che today and say he was bad. Look at the history around him. He was a hero. We say George Washington was a hero, but in the 1770s, he was a rebel who the British bitterly hated. He led a civil war (Later called the Revolution War because the US "won"). Look at Robert E. Lee. He led the Southern Confederate Troops in the Civil War. Many northerners (Including myself) say he was a traitor and terrible person. But in the war, he basically took a position of nearly defeating a more powerful North with an underpowered South. He was a bad guy, but he is still spoken highly in the South even today.

Che was that revolutionist who got the people behind him. From todays perspective, everyone hates him. But from the historical aspect, he is one of the greatest people of the 20th century, bringing ideology with him beyond anyone expected. Though his eventual death and Socialistic ideals did occur, he led the people as a uniter force.
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Glmclain » Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:09 pm UTC

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby xkcd follower » Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:18 pm UTC

Now you just misquote me because you can. I can make a case for HItler (Though that is tough and he is the single worse man to ever live)

HItler came to power in the 1920s and 1930s based on a faulty government (Weimar Republic). When the depression came, the government fell apart and he came to power. Through deceptiveness and tricking millions, he came to power. BUT with him in power, he began the war machine and was able to restart Germany's economy better then the US economy in the 1930s. If you were someone in that time period, you would see that he was a great person who brought prosperity to a nation.

Today, we see him as a murderer, but at the time he brought a country with no money and no hope of anything to become a world-class power.

I am a person who uses history for everything and can support my claims through historical information. I also am a person who hates certain people in history (Mainly HItler) and sees the good stuff in everything bad. Being a pessimistic person I am, I can and will find good stuff about anyone (Even Ghengis Khan). Do not tempt me with misquotes.
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Vaniver » Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:19 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:Che was idealistic, and he had good intentions (ending poverty, classism).
Intentions are universally positive. Judging by them adds no information.

xkcd follower wrote:Look at Robert E. Lee. He led the Southern Confederate Troops in the Civil War. Many northerners (Including myself) say he was a traitor and terrible person.
The typical treatment given to Lee by historians is that he was noble and talented, but happened to be born in the wrong state (and chose state loyalty over national loyalty). He was, among other things, opposed to slavery. Sherman, though on the winning side, is often remembered as bloodthirsty because of his views on how war should be carried out.

xkcd follower wrote:Today, we see him as a murderer, but at the time he brought a country with no money and no hope of anything to become a world-class power.
No hope of anything? Become a world-class power? How short is your memory?
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby xkcd follower » Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:23 pm UTC

Good point (WWI). I guess that part is true, and your historical information is slightly more accurate then mine, though I am still in high school. Anyways, you didn't exactly pick a side either. IS Che a good person (which he is from historical aspects) or a bad person (From modern day aspects) overall?
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Glmclain » Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:25 pm UTC

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby aoeu » Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:36 pm UTC

Glmclain wrote:
xkcd follower wrote:.

And you can't just look at Che today and say he was bad.


So we can! Lets do that right now, shall we?

xkcd follower wrote:

Che was that revolutionist who got the people behind him. From todays perspective, everyone hates him. But from the historical aspect, he is one of the greatest people of the 20th century, bringing ideology with him beyond anyone expected. Though his eventual death and Socialistic ideals did occur, he led the people as a uniter force.


By your logic, Hitler is a hero. Okay, sure, he might have done a few bad things, but he managed to get all of Germany behind him! Nobody expected Germany to become as powerful as it did, and it's all thanks to him! Though his eventual death, and his somewhat violent streak, he led Germany as a united force!

Yep.

Well if the Brits had recognized Hitler's heroic actions and allied with Nazi Germany all the jews could have been deported to the West and communism and Stalin would have been stomped out. It's clearly the British who are at fault.

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby xkcd follower » Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:42 pm UTC

Nice way of interpreting History. This will now be a fun thread. Blame the Brits for everything! But by destroying Stalin, we remove the main reason HItler lost WW2. He lost mainly because he used too much resources on too many fronts at once. The main one was in Russia (Operation Barbarossa) and that cost him the war. Thus, we can safely assume Hitler, who planned the various fronts, was an idiot.

I think we can at least assume that (also Gowdin's Law is now in effect http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law )
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Glmclain » Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:43 pm UTC

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby xkcd follower » Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:44 pm UTC

I really am bad at jokes, so I really don't do them online. Trust me, I can't do sarcasm (And that's not a joke)
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby RoberII » Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:45 pm UTC

Glmclain wrote:Except for the fact Cuba's economy is now shit thanks to Castro.

Che had a pretty face and was just used by Castro as a mascot for the soldiers. Castro didn't want to do anything else with him because Che fucked everything up somehow.

Like, if Castro had set up a wonderful government and made Cuba into a world power and made them all rich, it would make sense BUT:

Che was a murderous psychopath who enjoyed killing, was an idiot at everything and was mocked by his own soldiers and the CIA for his stupid tricks, an incompetent soldier, killed thousands of people to help set up a government that was WORSE than the one before it.

I don't see why people like this guy


1: As opposed to what - a banana republic, controlled by US corporations like the United Fruit Company? You also don't take into account that Cuba has been under embargo, which probably hasn't helped their economy. The odds are good that Cuba would have had a fascist dictatorship controlled by the CIA, and that the average Cuban would have been no better or worse off.

2: The history of Che is probably one of the hardest to pin down due to the hard narratives and many lies spread by both supporters and detractors, and ditto with the relationship between Che/Castro.

(TL;DR ; counterfactual history is fiction, especially when the actual facts of history are not particularly well-known)
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Glmclain » Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:52 pm UTC

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby xkcd follower » Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:53 pm UTC

Thank you! I forgot about the UNited Fruit Company. Don't forget about the Dole company also, which toppled the Hawaii nation in 1895 and wished to join the US. The president said no and they were their own nation for a few years. This company led to so many problems in the islands from their trade of sugarcane.

and for those who don't know the United Fruit Company, they were a group of people who tried to control economics in the Central American area. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Fruit_Company
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Glmclain » Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:00 pm UTC

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby RoberII » Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:23 pm UTC

Glmclain wrote:[Irrelevant stuff about incompetence]



... And what's your point? Being incompetent doesn't make you a scumbag. The bay of pigs invasion failed - does that make Kennedy a scumbag?

As for whether the standard of living went up or down after the revolution, I am not sure I want to take the CIA on their word on that one, they might be a teeny bit biased about the regime of the man they have tried to kill some 4-500 times... :roll: I suspect that it depends on where you were on the economic spectrum before the revolution.
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Glmclain » Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:27 pm UTC

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby xkcd follower » Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:28 pm UTC

Economically, they were worse off with the dictators in power. So this is better overall. Overall, some hate him, some love him. Most are in the middle.
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Glmclain » Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:30 pm UTC

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby aoeu » Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:57 pm UTC

Glmclain wrote:Because he kills or abducts anyone who disagrees? And no, it's not better overall, it's still shit. It's a terrible government.

There's a reason many of them tried to flee to Florida.

How much better would it be if they got the best government?

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Glmclain » Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:02 am UTC

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby RoberII » Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:10 am UTC

Glmclain wrote:The argument you're using is basically

"Anything that disagrees with my opinion is biased or unreliable so you have to ignore it."

We have multiple accounts in AND out of Cuba about how much of a bastard Castro is. Killing civilians, torture, extortion, it is an EVIL government. People walk around with Che T-shirts, they might as well walk around with Hitler T-shirts.

Also, the reason I provided information about Che in the Congo is

1. He's not very good at...anything...
2. He hasn't done anything worth celebrating.


There's a huge difference between "I don't trust anything that disagrees with my opinion" and "I'm not sure I want to take the word of the organization that tried to kill him a few hundred times".

It's ridiculously easy to find historical accounts describing Che as either a murderous bastard or a highly efficient soldier, doctor and lawmaker. The truth is that he was probably a bit of a douche, but in a douchey time and a douchey place in history, and with good intentions - intentions that many still consider good intentions to this day, namely socialism and the overthrow of American imperialism.

Similarly, describing Cuba simply as "shitty" isn't really accurate of the nuanced reality of the country. Such as the extensive healthcare system and educational system. And that it's not a particularly bad place compared to the other latin-american countries. And that it's currently undergoing extensive reforms away from hardcore communism. Do these things excuse human rights abuses? Nope, not at all. But in many ways, I suppose living in Cuba would be preferable to living in, say, the bad parts of Detroit.
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby xkcd follower » Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:36 am UTC

Agreed. Also, look at the time period and the conditions of where he operated. He did his revolutions in countries with heavy US political control and US intervention. The US put many of the dictators in power that Che overthrew. So, if the US didn't exactly put the shitty people in power that they did, this may have never happened.

BUt it did, so Che is a liberator to those under these losy leaders. End of story. We can keep discussing this, but it boils down to one thing:

He was in the right place at the right time to make history
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Nem » Mon Sep 05, 2011 1:34 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:Intentions are universally positive. Judging by them adds no information.


Intentions universally serve the aesthetics of the person who holds them but that's not necessarily the same thing as being positive. I have good intentions only if I desire to define myself by adherence to the label of good - and I will only have that desire if I've been rewarded for doing the things I've been taught are defined as good and punished for doing the things I've been taught are defined as evil.

I can intend evil. Or even not really care about those sorts of distinctions to start with.

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:50 pm UTC

The important thing is that his face can be printed on t-shirts for teens and those who remain ignorant to feel rebellious as they listen to their Rage against the Machine and sip free trade coffee.

The actual actions of an individual in life are far less important than the marketability of their image or a few of their quotes in death.
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