Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:12 pm UTC

Scum, not even the heroic type of scum, but hey, a single good picture is worth a thousand empty words.

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby hawkinsssable » Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:00 am 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.


RoberII wrote: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.


It's always fun to compare Cuba, which has had a commercial, economic, and financial embargo imposed on it since October 1960, with its neighbour Haiti, which has a free market economy that makes advantage of low labor costs and tariff-free access to the US for most of its exports. One happens to be a highly developed country, the other happens is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere with 80% of its population living under the poverty line.

Look at the available indicators on the UN human development index:

HDI value for Cuba: 0.760 (ranks #53, categorised as "High Human Development")
HDI value for Haiti: 0.404 (ranks #145, categorised as "Low Human Development")

Life expectancy at birth for Cubans: 79 years
Life expectancy at birth for Haitians: 61.7 years

More people seem to flee Haiti than Cuba-
Annual number of refugees from Cuba: 7,900
Annual number of refugees from Haiti: 23,100 (roughly 3 times as many refugees, despite having a significantly smaller population)

As for Guevara himself: he's a guy who felt transformed after witnessing poverty and alienation in Latin America and traced the problem to capitalism, neo-colonialism, and American imperialism, and believed a world revolution was necessary to fix it. The fact that he was involved in instituting social reforms in Guatemala immediately before Jacobo Guzmán's regime was overthrown by the US and replaced by a military junta kinda helped his case. He's a guy who, with a certain amount of success, happened to try to do something about it- domestically in Cuba through successfully instituting a nationwide literacy campaign and agrarian reforms, and regionally through trying to get a world revolution going.

He's a martyr for a cause many people rightly relate to, and people venerate him because of it. Which I thought was pretty much the dictionary definition of "hero".
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:15 am UTC

Haiti is a country based around pseudo-slavery and genocide, with little history of functional government. Not a good country to compare to. Compare Argentina to Cuba instead.

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby hawkinsssable » Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:30 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Haiti is a country based around pseudo-slavery and genocide, with little history of functional government. Not a good country to compare to. Compare Argentina to Cuba instead.


Unless, of course, the REASON Haiti remains "a country based around pseudo-slavery and genocide, with little history of functional government" has something to do with neo-colonialism or imperialism- the things Guevara happened to be fighting against. And why, exactly, should we compare Cuba to Argentina? Why that country? Wouldn't comparing the HDI values of different Carribean countries make more sense?

Bahamas: 0.784
Cuba: 0.760
Jamaica: 0.688
Dominican Republic: 0.663
Haiti: 0.404

But if you really want, let's compare Cuba- a country suffering under the longest-running trade embargo in history- with Latin America as a region:

Bahamas: 0.784
Chile: HDI value 0.783
Argentina: HDI value 0.775
Uruguay: 0.765
Cuba: 0.760 (Incidentally, it has longer life expectancy and education indicators than any of the above countries)
Panama: 0.755
Mexico: 0.750
Costa Rica: 0.725
Brazil: 0.699
Venezuela: 0.696
Colombia: 0.689
Jamaica: 0.688
Dominican Republic: 0.663
El Salvador: 0.659
Bolivia: 0.643
Honduras: 0.604
Nicaragua: 0.565
Guatemala: 0.560
Haiti: 0.404

(Average ~0.68)

I'm just going to throw out there that Cuba doesn't seem to be the shithole you're assuming.

RoberII wrote:RoberII wrote: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.
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:58 am UTC

Cuba doesn't have a HDI, because it could not verify some critical statistics due to things like oppressive government censorship. You know, the absolutely biggest sign there is something wrong with a country. Meaning you are full of nasty stuff.

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby RoberII » Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:15 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Cuba doesn't have a HDI, because it could not verify some critical statistics due to things like oppressive government censorship. You know, the absolutely biggest sign there is something wrong with a country. Meaning you are full of nasty stuff.


http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/HDR_2009_EN_Complete.pdf

Here you go: The 2009 Human Development Report, with Cuba at, 0.863, or 51st in the world.
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby stevey_frac » Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:32 am UTC

I've been to Cuba. It's a nice place. The people are very kind. The roads are generally clean, and clear. The people have basic education, and basic health care. The reason for Cuba's grinding poverty is entirely about the fact that it's pre 1960's economy was based on exporting sugar cane to the U.S. You take that away, and you have an economy in dire straits.

As for why the standard of living went down: Look at what happened immediately after Castro took power. All the rich white folks left. That has a huge impact on the average standard of living. If you looked at the median standard of living (is there such a thing??) i'd bet it started going up.

I blame U.S. policy of embargos in it's entirety for the poverty and suffering of the cuban people. In a world in which communist russia has colapsed, there is no need for it, other then the fact that it wouldn't win you political points at home in the U.S.

As for Che Guevara, if you haven't been in a battle, don't laugh at him for shooting himself in the face. After all, Mr. Cheney shot his friend, and that wasn't even in the heat of battle. Muzzle control FTW.

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby hawkinsssable » Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:45 am UTC

RoberII wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Cuba doesn't have a HDI, because it could not verify some critical statistics due to things like oppressive government censorship. You know, the absolutely biggest sign there is something wrong with a country. Meaning you are full of nasty stuff.


http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/HDR_2009_EN_Complete.pdf

Here you go: The 2009 Human Development Report, with Cuba at, 0.863, or 51st in the world.


See also here for the 2010 data, easily accessible from the link I posted before. Note how it says "The 2010 HDI value and ranking reflect the inclusion of one or more HDI indicators that were not available at the time of the preparation of the 2010 Human Development Report"? That's the source of the data I used earlier- I wasn't just making up figures.
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Zamfir » Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:36 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Haiti is a country based around pseudo-slavery and genocide, with little history of functional government. Not a good country to compare to. Compare Argentina to Cuba instead.

That might be an interesting comparison. When Guevara entered politics, he could have chosen to stay at home and join the opposition, the vaguely social-democratic UCR. In those days, Argentina was a rich, though extremely unequal country. And democracy was vaguely working, in between the military interventions. Perhaps there was peaceful alternative path for Guevara towards a fairer world.

Ironically, our non-radical Che might have been a junior member of the government party during the Cuban revolution. Peron had been banned by the previous Junta, so the UCR had won the elections. They even sympatized with the real Guevara, and tried to negotiate between Cuba and the US. Neither the US nor the military was charmed, and the military eventually disposed of that government for not being anti-communist enough. They also disposed of the next, even more careful UCR government. After that Peron returned and the country gradually fell into civil war and eventually to the Videla regime. During that time the leadership of the UCR disappeared, last seen entering planes to better places.

Videla eventually screwed up both the economy and the war, making him a bit of a pointless fascist even by fascist standards. The UCR and its kin have ben more or less normal democratic parties since then.

Would that have been a better path towards Guevara's ideals? Argentina started better off than Cuba by pretty much any measure, and eventually ended up better too (though how much better for the common people is not that easily answered). But the period in between was seriously bad, and there was little a social-democratic Che could have done to change that. Presumably even the most succesful counterfactual moderate Guevara would have been powerless against the military or Peron, and eventually he would have been thrown from a plane in 1976.

Similar stories can be told for most of Latin America. Peaceful fights against inequality would end in military coups and execution squads, and had been ending that way for a century before. Castro turned out little better than that, but in the 1950s he looked like a promising alternative compared to the status quo.

Just to be clear, I don't like violent revolutionaries. Ít's an approach that tends to end badly far too often. We will have to wait how Lybia turns, hopefully it becomes an exception. But it's so easy to sit back home, in comfortable and peaceful countries (that all too often paid for the coups and executions squads), and yell 'scum' to the people who are trying to change the situation.

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:12 pm UTC

Are you sure he was trying to end the execution squads rather than be the guy controlling the execution squads?

I think Pratchett summed it up best, when Rincewind went to China the Counterweight Continent, and discovered that the revolutionaries were only interested in being in power. All the common man Yak herder wanted was a longer rope so he didn't have to be so close to his Yaks.

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby jules.LT » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:59 pm UTC

wikikepedia article on Che Guevara wrote:Although there are differences between different accounts, it is estimated that several hundred people were executed nationwide during this time, with estimates for Guevara's jurisdictional death total at La Cabaña ranging from 55 to 164.[103] Conflicting views exist of Guevara's attitude towards the executions at La Cabaña. Some exiled opposition biographers report that he relished the rituals of the firing squad, and organized them with gusto, while others relate that Guevara pardoned as many prisoners as he could.[101]

I'm no expert, but saying that he tried to minimize the executions even though he considered that some were necessary doesn't seem completely absurd. It's sourced, too. Maybe you could give sources of your own other than Terry Pratchett?

From reading this thread and the wikipedia article, I see a man who was hardened by war, not a bloodthirsty maniac.
Also, I'd like sources on the military incompetence. It appears that he had a good few surprising military successes.
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Роберт » Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:35 pm UTC

When asking about Ernesto's heroness vs scumness, should we also be discussing the hero to scum ratio of the U.S. at the time?
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Glmclain » Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:16 pm UTC

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby RoberII » Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:32 pm UTC

Glmclain wrote:Although I'll admit the US doesn't exactly have the morale high ground, people don't wear T-shirts with CIA officials' faces on them.

Also...

•"Crazy with fury I will stain my rifle red while slaughtering any enemy that falls in my hands! My nostrils dilate while savoring the acrid odor of gunpowder and blood. With the deaths of my enemies I prepare my being for the sacred fight and join the triumphant proletariat with a bestial howl!"

•"We don't need proof to execute a man. We only need proof that it's necessary to execute him. A revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate."

•"He went into convulsions for a while and was finally still. Now his belongings were mine." This is his written account of his victim's, a Castro rebel, actions after Che shot him.

•"I'd like to confess, papa', at that moment I discovered that I really like killing."


I, for one, would like some context to those quotes.

As for wearing t-shirts with faces, plenty of people wear the American flag. How is that different, once you've conceded that the US doesn't have the moral high ground? Sure, many people like American ideals, and wearing pro-US clothes should probably be taken as a statement of support as America as a moral beacon, a shining city on the hill, etc, rather than as a statement in favour of, say, massacres of civilians in Vietnam or the bombing of Dresden.
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Zamfir » Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:35 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Are you sure he was trying to end the execution squads rather than be the guy controlling the execution squads?

I think Pratchett summed it up best, when Rincewind went to China the Counterweight Continent, and discovered that the revolutionaries were only interested in being in power. All the common man Yak herder wanted was a longer rope so he didn't have to be so close to his Yaks.


For the first point, I'd say in his favour that he went out of his way to find the fights, and risk his life. Even after the success of Cuba, when he could presumably have chosen for a quiet life as long he stayed out of Castro's way. I assume that is partially because he loved fighting, but loving to fight is hardly a disqualifier for a hero. I doubt that being in charge of the squads alone is enough motivation to risk your life that hard, at least without many other motivations too. Amongst them, really wanting to hang certain people. I also suspect that being in charge of execution squads can be a powerful drug, especially when you really believe that you are righteous. Perhaps the guy really loved that kind of power, perhaps he didn't but thought it was necessary. Perhaps some mixture, I dunno.

Again, this kind of kill-the-oppressor violence doesn't get my sympathy. I don't have Che T-shirts. But I don't think you can condemn it more than for example the soldiers who are proud of killing Bin Laden. The desire to hurt bad people is clearly a nasty but powerful tool, and I can only hope that we can build a world where that tool has no place anymore.

On the second part: like many Pratchett-things, it's just a bit too glib to be entirely true. The cadres of revolutions are also Yak herders, who definitely want to hang people with their ropes. Mao won the war because those Yak herders joined his army, more than the Kuomintang. The rest of the common men may have preferred someone else in a perfect world, but there's a lot of evidence that they liked Mao among the alternatives on offer. And that hanging landlords by the millions was PR gain, not a loss.

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:17 am UTC

...at least until Mao consolidated power and began the crazy. Such as the 'one virgin a night' thing. Or the persecution/extermination of the educated classes, crippling the longest-running university system in the world. Or trying to turn farmers into blacksmiths, causing famines and wasting materials. Or a giant campaign to exterminate the sparrow, causing a plague of locusts that, combined with the blacksmith thing, killed 50 million Chinese civilians.

No one knows everything, which is why a leader needs some people to tell him that he is wrong. But when you made your reputation on executing those who most disagreed with you...

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby RoberII » Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:40 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:...at least until Mao consolidated power and began the crazy. Such as the 'one virgin a night' thing. Or the persecution/extermination of the educated classes, crippling the longest-running university system in the world. Or trying to turn farmers into blacksmiths, causing famines and wasting materials. Or a giant campaign to exterminate the sparrow, causing a plague of locusts that, combined with the blacksmith thing, killed 50 million Chinese civilians.

No one knows everything, which is why a leader needs some people to tell him that he is wrong. But when you made your reputation on executing those who most disagreed with you...


I think you just said that Mao's greatest problem was that he didn't listen to his advisors, which I think isn't what you're trying to say, especially in light of your usual politics. What are you trying to say? That Mao's regime was a catastrophic failure? Because I don't think anyone here disagrees with that. Or are you trying to say something about communism/socialism in general?
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:33 am UTC

No, just about having a revolutionary as a leader. The worst are the revolutionaries that 'purge' those that disagree with them. The end result is that no one will intervene when they have a stupid idea, and it ends in disaster.

We all have stupid ideas from time to time. Or, most of the time actually; chances are you don't know much about agriculture. Imagine that you have absolute power, and are so caught up in your own cult of personality that you don't realize that, oh, peaches can only grow in certain climates. But you decide that all farmers shall grow peaches. Anyone showing even the slightest sign of disapproval might be trying to stage a coup, and must be executed, so no one dares tell you how stupid an idea it is to make all farmers grow peaches. The result is that all the farms are replaced with peach orchards, which fail, and the country starves.

Or for a more real world example, you happen to be named Idi, and you have this Idiotic idea that you should kick out all those 'nonnative' Indians and White people, despite the fact that the 'native' population doesn't have a significant educated class. Or, well, pick any other Dictator in Africa. ANY. It's all the same basic story; kick out the Europeans, have no skilled labor left, infrastructure crumbles, people starve, complain. (Not that the Europeans aren't in part to blame).
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby RoberII » Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:45 am UTC

Ah,ok. I'm not sure that that's so much a symptom of having a revolutionary as a leader as having an ideologue as a leader, particularly an ideologue that doesn't trust intellectuals. I'm sure that if the Tea Party was to come into power in 2012, you'd see much the same thing - it doesn't matter if people are alive to tell you that your ideas are stupid if you ignore them.
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:47 am UTC

RoberII wrote:Ah,ok. I'm not sure that that's so much a symptom of having a revolutionary as a leader as having an ideologue as a leader, particularly an ideologue that doesn't trust intellectuals. I'm sure that if the Tea Party was to come into power in 2012, you'd see much the same thing - it doesn't matter if people are alive to tell you that your ideas are stupid if you ignore them.


Yeah, I'll agree with you that having Tea Party, or at least the parts that get media attention, in charge would end in catastrophe.

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Ignorancia Selectiva » Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:09 am UTC

I have read all of the opinons above, and, since i am an argentinean, i would like to say a few words.

This is what i think most* people think about che guevara in my country:

Che was a middle class person who lived in a middle class neighborhood . He studied in UBA ( public and free university of my country ) and got a Medic degree.
He traveled around the latin america, and saw INJUSTICE an DISPAIR.
So, he thought about a way to change that. And he gave his life and abondon everything he had to fight for a better world.

Yes, sure, i would never use a shirt with his face.Yes, communism sucks.Yes, he killed people.Yes, his tactics were kind of terroristic-ish.
Look, even if capitalism is the best we have, its not without its problems. ( reading the new york times comment section just now, i see a lot of americans angry with how things are being run )

Its call "moral relativism", i think. If the founding fathers of your nation had done the same thing, you would be celebrating them.
( I mean, the usa is the first and only country to attack another nation using NUCLEAR BOMBS. They still wave their flag with pride, right ?** )


Long story short : che guevara represents the icon of a little man from the middle class actually doing something to change the world.Its his FIGHT and STRUGGLE that people ( of my country, and some others i guess ) admire.

*data base : my friends, people from my neighbordhood, my family,people from my uni. xD

**Every nation has blood in their hands, it would be hipocrital of me to just point out that from them.Just showing an example of moral relativism.

Disclaimer : english is not my native language, i try my best not to make spelling mistakes but...you never know =O.

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby infernovia » Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:44 am UTC

hawkinsssable wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Haiti is a country based around pseudo-slavery and genocide, with little history of functional government. Not a good country to compare to. Compare Argentina to Cuba instead.


Unless, of course, the REASON Haiti remains "a country based around pseudo-slavery and genocide, with little history of functional government" has something to do with neo-colonialism or imperialism- the things Guevara happened to be fighting against. And why, exactly, should we compare Cuba to Argentina? Why that country? Wouldn't comparing the HDI values of different Carribean countries make more sense?

Bahamas: 0.784
Cuba: 0.760
Jamaica: 0.688
Dominican Republic: 0.663
Haiti: 0.404

But if you really want, let's compare Cuba- a country suffering under the longest-running trade embargo in history- with Latin America as a region:

Bahamas: 0.784
Chile: HDI value 0.783
Argentina: HDI value 0.775
Uruguay: 0.765
Cuba: 0.760 (Incidentally, it has longer life expectancy and education indicators than any of the above countries)
Panama: 0.755
Mexico: 0.750
Costa Rica: 0.725
Brazil: 0.699
Venezuela: 0.696
Colombia: 0.689
Jamaica: 0.688
Dominican Republic: 0.663
El Salvador: 0.659
Bolivia: 0.643
Honduras: 0.604
Nicaragua: 0.565
Guatemala: 0.560
Haiti: 0.404

(Average ~0.68)


This is a pretty damning and comprehensive post and I don't really see a good response by the other side. On the whole, the pro-hero/pro-revolutionary arguments seems to have well thought out and well argued points (zamfir, stevey_frac and others). The response to them doesn't seem to not go further than:
a) that Communism and Fascism are evil
b) Castro is evil and so is Hitler
c) Che killed some people that disagreed with him and sometimes made mistakes.

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:09 am UTC

1) Free speech and free religion are pretty fucking important to me. Especially if my views happen to be different from those in charge (which is very frequently).
2) You are the first here to invoke Godwin's law. In the future, please don't unless it truly is needed.
3) Murder is not something to gloss over. Unless you want to argue that all the things the US did are just 'a few mistakes', and we should look the other way.
4) See Chile up there? With a significantly higher number? By your logic, the tyrant Pinochet was a hero who 'made a few mistakes', but all in all a good guy. Sorry, he was a ruthless bastard, as was Che. The lesser of two 'evils' is still 'evil', even if it's the right choice to make.

What Che did was kill a bunch of people in order to force people to adopt a belief system that he 'knew' was superior -that happened to have him and his friends in charge. Imagine if Western countries did tha- oh wait, they totally did, it was called Imperialism, and you probably think that was wrong. The US's foreign interventions to do similar are also morally suspect. Well I agree with you. Now please, tell me the difference between Che forcing people to convert to his system of beliefs at gunpoint, and, well, any aggressive fundamentalist/fascist ever.

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby infernovia » Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:27 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:2) You are the first here to invoke Godwin's law. In the future, please don't unless it truly is needed.

Glmclain wrote: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.

You can actually search "godwin's law" in this thread and see where it has come up before.

As for your other points, first I wasn't just referencing you but people arguing for your side, which I am clarifying here and now so that we can get rid of this defensiveness. Earlier in this thread someone mentioned they couldn't take Che seriously anymore because he tripped and accidentally shot himself in the face, which I think is kinda funny, but its not an argument and actually has nothing to do with validating the worth/impact of this specific individual.

Also, I think its pretty clear from that post that Cuba seems to be much more developed than Haiti in that model in terms of growth/power/satisfaction. That post also made me wonder what Cuba would have been like without the revolution and where it would have been in the South American ranking (I made the conclusion "probably lower" according to that post). So the counter-argument should have been why Castro was a horrible thing to happen to Cuba despite the probability that it might be in the same state as Haiti or at least taken the Cuban accomplishment under the dictatorship seriously.

CorruptUser wrote:What Che did was kill a bunch of people in order to force people to adopt a belief system that he 'knew' was superior

And what would you have done? If you know something is superior, what would you do? See, North vs. South American Civil War. See, French Revolution. See, Napoleonic Wars. See, Alexander. See, Lennin. See, Cromwell's revolution in England. See, WWII. I don't see how you can create change, how you can bring forth something you desire, you know is better without force. Without the Allies, Nazi Germany would retain power. Without Grant, South would have slavery, etc.
Last edited by infernovia on Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:37 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:36 am UTC

But we in the West know that our system is superior to others! Therefore it's ok to invade all other countries on earth and force them to adopt our values, and all those who are murdered in our wake are just collateral damage.

Of course, those in the Middle East know their system is superior to others. Therefore it's ok to invade all other countries on earth and force them to adopt their values, and all those who are murdered in their wake are just collateral damage.

And India has its own system which it knows is superior. Therefore it's ok to invade all other countries on earth and force them to adopt their values, and all those who are murdered in their wake are just collateral damage.

And China has its own system which it knows is superior. Therefore it's ok to invade all other countries on earth and force them to adopt their values, and all those who are murdered in their wake are just collateral damage.

And Russia, and every other culture on earth.

There is a reason the UN includes the right to self determination in its charter. Forcing people to adopt your belief system is the very definition of Fascism.
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby infernovia » Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:40 am UTC

Are you actually replying to me or what? I am not sure, but since there hasn't been any posts between yours and mine, I have to assume it is directed at me. The only thing I can't figure out is what that has to do with anything.

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:45 am UTC

You are saying it was ok for Che to go into other places to spread communism, force people to adopt his system, even if it meant people had to be murdered, because he knew he was right. The ends justifies the means, and so forth.

I'm replying that that logic can justify nearly every war in existence, that every atrocity in the world is acceptable so long as it's 'for a good cause'.

I can't eat that tripe.

As for creating change without force, try Immanuel Kant's work. Though personally, I'm closer to Morganthau, oddly enough.
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby infernovia » Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:59 am UTC

So what America shouldn't have killed the Nazis because they were determining the fate of their nation and because America would be enforcing their belief of Constitutional Democracy to a fascist state?

Your extrapolations are extremely tedious and I am not going to get you to actually think about the complexity of the situation, nevermind staying on topic of Haiti and the history of Cuba/Southern America. So I am giving up.

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:02 am UTC

Except the (godwin's law) were forcing their own belief system (and worse) onto others. As were the southern slave owners. And the French nobility. And the Church/any-fundamentalist-state-ever.

There is a huge difference between forcing someone else to adopt your system, and preventing someone else from forcing their system on some third party (or you). And no, no arguments that preventing someone from forcing their system onto someone else is in itself forcing a system onto that person.

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Zamfir » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:26 am UTC

And where does that leave Batista? Few people wonder whether it would be evil to bring someone like Castro to power in a well-functioning country. The question is, was it evil to help Castro to power as alternative to 1950s Cuba. Which was not a system anyone thought "superior" to anything, but a dictator who executed his opposition so he could sell his country to the Mafia. By 1957, I doubt even Batista himself considered his rule superior, instead of merely profitable.

There still a good argument that revolutions easily end up worse than before, even when the before is a depotic regime. Because it destroys important social structures, creates more hatred, can lead to a long term civil war, and because it brings the most power-hungry ruthless leaders to the front. But there surely has to be a line somewhere? A point where a regime is so bad that a violent revolution becomes a justifiable option, even if its outcomes are uncertain and unlikely to be paradise.

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:51 pm UTC

Different people will have different 'lines', and I'm not sure which line is objectively right. One line could be disenfranchisement (Mandela and the Umkhonto we), another could be when genocide begins. Some will argue it should be when guns are banned, since that is the 'last' time you could mount an effective revolt. Others argue when it's when the free press is shut down (that's the line for me).

Oddly enough, I agree almost wholeheartedly with Ayn Rand's view on foreign policy, despite not much liking her domestic/economic policy (sorry, the free market fails miserably on non-excludable Goods). You (country) don't have the right to invade another country unless that country initiates force (or forces a system) against 1) you, 2) a third country, or 3) its own citizens. Which is significantly different from Libertarianism, where you can't attack unless 1, and the the UN's "right to self determination" which is 1 and 2.

Anyway, Castro/Che/et al were not wrong to revolt against Batista. They were wrong in the aftermath, becoming dictators themselves. Which they wanted to do from the start, removing their own moral high ground.
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Lazar » Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:54 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:You (country) don't have the right to invade another country unless that country initiates force (or forces a system) against[...] its own citizens.

That gives you free rein to invade a ridiculous amount of countries.
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:55 pm UTC

Lazar wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:You (country) don't have the right to invade another country unless that country initiates force (or forces a system) against... its own citizens.

That gives you free rein to invade a ridiculous amount of countries.


Depends how big the force or grievous the system. Invading a country because they ban cigarettes is not a good reason. Invading a country because they ban religious freedom might be. Invading a country because they execute people based on race definitely is. Imagine how different the world would look, if back in Spring 2001, we had invaded Afghanistan because the Taliban destroyed those Buddhist statues...

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby RoberII » Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:46 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
Lazar wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:You (country) don't have the right to invade another country unless that country initiates force (or forces a system) against... its own citizens.

That gives you free rein to invade a ridiculous amount of countries.


Depends how big the force or grievous the system. Invading a country because they ban cigarettes is not a good reason. Invading a country because they ban religious freedom might be. Invading a country because they execute people based on race definitely is. Imagine how different the world would look, if back in Spring 2001, we had invaded Afghanistan because the Taliban destroyed those Buddhist statues...


Wait, how is that a cause for invasion?
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:29 pm UTC

Would you agree that if Country A is committing genocide, then Country B has the right/duty to invade to stop it?

If so, then you agree that Country B has the right to invade/attack other countries for reasons other than self defense. Just what those reasons are, are up for debate.

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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Lazar » Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:12 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Would you agree that if Country A is committing genocide, then Country B has the right/duty to invade to stop it?

Genocide /= "initiation of force against citizens".
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Роберт » Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:17 pm UTC

Lazar wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Would you agree that if Country A is committing genocide, then Country B has the right/duty to invade to stop it?

Genocide /= "initiation of force against citizens".

Sure, but it's an element of it.

I think there's a basic miscommunication here. I don't think he was saying any initiation of force against citizens can be a valid reason for war. I think he was saying certain initiations of force against citizens could be a valid reason for war.
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby Whimsical Eloquence » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:55 pm UTC

Lazar wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Would you agree that if Country A is committing genocide, then Country B has the right/duty to invade to stop it?

Genocide /= "initiation of force against citizens".



Sure, but... what? "Massacring" then? I've never quite understood the particular emphasis placed on Genocide above and beyond any other crime - sure it's vile and repugnant. But killing 2000 Bs while awful isn't as bad as killing 20'000 a, b, c...z's.

Do you think we should act to stop mass slaughter, e.g. genocide? If so you accept that there are certain grounds where it is legitimate to invade on the basis of Human Rights.
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby xkcd follower » Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:33 pm UTC

There we go. Che rebelled against those who did genocide as dictators with US support> He was a revolutionist that was liked in his own retrospects.
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Re: Che Guevara: Hero or Scum?

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:06 am UTC

Could you please explain what Genocide Batista committed? I see him more as "ruthless strongman" who killed political opponents than "maniacal murderer" or "well-intentioned extremist"*.

Personally, I see Castro/Che as somewhere between "Ruthless Strongman" and "Well-intentioned Extremist", but I'm not entirely sure just how far to one side of 'wrong' or the other he is.

*You'd be surprised how much 'bad' is done by those trying to do 'good' by any means necessary.


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