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Che Guevara posted 07 April 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionChe Guevara by Edge of Certainty, Subdidact

This is kind of a stretch to post this topic in the philosophy corner, but i've seen topics less relative....

anyway, what i was wondering is, do you think Che Guevara was a hero who faught for the better good, or a violent man who advocated war.

i'm not really asking about your ideas toward communism, but you're welcome to post them.

I know most people who start these threads put what they personally think right about here, but i'm not going to. Viva la Revolution. view post


Che Guevara posted 07 April 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionChe Guevara by Randal, Auditor

I think he truly was an idealist who fought for the greater good, but I'll never approve of his methods. I think the label hero is unwarranted in this context. "The road to hell" and all.

But I readily admit my interest in and knowledge of the man is cursory at best. view post


Che Guevara posted 07 April 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionChe Guevara by Sokar, Auditor

For me he was a hero.... view post


Che Guevara posted 07 April 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionChe Guevara by Entropic_existence, Moderator

I think he had good intentions, but his methods are suspect. I also think he is quite overhyped among people in my age bracket (college students, etc) who really know little about him, the history of his revolution, etc. view post


Che Guevara posted 07 April 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionChe Guevara by gierra, Sorcerer-of-Rank

i remember reading an article some years back, in a response to a movie being made about hitler. people were outraged by how the movie was depicting hitler as a normal human being, as opposed to some inhuman monster. it went on later to discuss che, how the only reason people regard him as any kind of a hero is because he died before he had the chance to do anything truly bad (or worse than he did). view post


Che Guevara posted 07 April 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionChe Guevara by Sokar, Auditor

Name one bad thing he did? view post


Che Guevara posted 07 April 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionChe Guevara by Peter, Auditor

"Let us create one, two, three, four many Vietnams..." or something very similar, said at the i-forget-which-internationale. So he advocated multiple wars pitting thousands of drafted American soldiers against millions of ill-equipped, ill-trained natives who would die in their millions all so as to humiliate and slightly incapacitate a country he thought evil. He was not only willing to sacrifice millions of the natives of whatever countries he hoped would emulate Vietnam, but also thousands of innocent Americans for crimes committed by the country (holding them personally responsible for things they did not do I suppose). Sounds pretty bad to me.

Thinking that America was in the wrong in Vietnam... acceptable (but no worse than the Communist leaders I would suggest). Suggesting that in and of itself Vietnam was a good thing... No I can't accept that anyone who thinks like that has a properly developed moral sensibility. view post


Che Guevara posted 07 April 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionChe Guevara by gierra, Sorcerer-of-Rank

well said.

let us remember that communism is based on violent overthrow. guevera was a communist.

in his "Message to the Tricontinental", he writes of "hatred as an element of struggle; unbending hatred for the enemy, which pushes a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him into an effective, violent, selective, and cold-blooded killing machine."

ya, he really sounds like someone to admire. view post


Che Guevara posted 09 April 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionChe Guevara by Sokar, Auditor

I am not going to descuss communism with people who don't understand the basic idea of it.

But just to critique your obscure phrases in a simple way, why don't you read the context he wrote/said that in and then tell me if what he wrote/said was actually wrong. Every sentence can be critised outside of its context. view post


Che Guevara posted 09 April 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionChe Guevara by Entropic_existence, Moderator

I don't want to get into a debate about the merits and flaws of communism but I'll just say that as an ideal it is great. Unfortunately human nature has prevented true marxism from ever being achieved as a government style. Some places have gotten close but they've never passed the dictator stage. (And BTW Gierra wasn't wrong in saying that is generally requires a violent revolution. The workers have to come to power sometime and while populist and democratic reforms sometimes lead to a communist government it is usually a coup or revolution in arms)

As for Che, while he was part of the Cuban government he was one of the people primarily responsible for the Cuban Missile crisis. While I'm not going to say whether acquiring the weapons themselves was right or wrong I believe he is one record as saying if they had of been under cuban control they would have been launched on US cities.

I think the point is that Che is a mixed figure. He's done good things, and I also think there is sufficient evidence for real criticisms of his actions as well. Most people in the west who idealize him tend to simply embrace the good and ignore the rest. I would bet that a good 80-90% of people you see wearing a Che Gueverra shirt know little to nothing about real revolution. view post


Che Guevara posted 09 April 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionChe Guevara by Edge of Certainty, Subdidact

Quote: "Entropic_existence":2d9hxx4p
I don't want to get into a debate about the merits and flaws of communism but I'll just say that as an ideal it is great. Unfortunately human nature has prevented true marxism from ever being achieved as a government style.[/quote:2d9hxx4p]

I completely agree.
I know too many people who dismiss communism as a form of government that will never work simply because it's somthing other than democracy. view post


Che Guevara posted 09 April 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionChe Guevara by Entropic_existence, Moderator

Quote: "Edge of Certainty":3a8iapyj
Quote: "Entropic_existence":3a8iapyj
I don't want to get into a debate about the merits and flaws of communism but I'll just say that as an ideal it is great. Unfortunately human nature has prevented true marxism from ever being achieved as a government style.[/quote:3a8iapyj]

I completely agree.
I know too many people who dismiss communism as a form of government that will never work simply because it's somthing other than democracy.[/quote:3a8iapyj]

I don't think it is likely to work anytime soon, not on large scales anyway. It works great at the community level but on a national level it tends not to work quite so well. People need to overcome their base instincts for it to ever work on a large scale. Have fun trying to dislodge the beauracrats that are high up within "The Party" who merely replaced those they rallied against. view post


Che Guevara posted 10 April 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionChe Guevara by Peter, Auditor

I am not going to descuss communism with people who don't understand the basic idea of it.


I have not studied marxism directly, however I have studied it in school, in Political Sociology and in Theory of Politics under the latter two under a tutor who is Marxist so I think this a slightly unfair accusation. I do recognise that not having studied it directly I can't critique all the subtleties of it, but I don't think that should mean thatI can't critique it at all.

But just to critique your obscure phrases in a simple way, why don't you read the context he wrote/said that in and then tell me if what he wrote/said was actually wrong. Every sentence can be critised outside of its context.


I realise that my quote is not sourced, nor particularly precise, it came from my history lessons about 3-4 years ago, so I looked it up on the internet here <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.thechestore.com/Che-Guevara-message-Tricontinental.php">http://www.thechestore.com/Che-Guevara- ... nental.php</a><!-- m -->

These are taken from his speech (it was to the Tri-Continental, sorry, I got confused, not an Internationale) at the above link.

New uprisings shall take place in these and other countries of Our America, as it has already happened in Bolivia, and they shall continue to grow in the midst of all the hardships inherent to this dangerous profession of being modern revolutionaries. Many shall perish, victims of their errors; others shall fall in the tough battle that approaches; new fighters and new leaders shall appear in the warmth of the revolutionary struggle. The people shall create their warriors and leaders in the selective framework of the war itself — and Yankee agents of repression shall increase. Today there are military aides in all the countries where armed struggle is growing; the Peruvian army apparently carried out a successful action against the revolutionaries in that country, an army also trained and advised by the Yankees. But if the focuses of war grow with sufficient political and military insight, they shall become practically invincible and shall force the Yankees to send reinforcements. In Peru itself many new figures, practically unknown, are now reorganizing the guerrillas.Little by little, the obsolete weapons, which are sufficient for the repression of small armed bands, will be exchanged for modern armaments, and the U.S. military aides will be substituted by actual fighters until, at a given moment, they are forced to send increasingly greater numbers of regular troops to ensure the relative stability of a government whose national puppet army is disintegrating before the impetuous attacks of the guerrillas. It is the road of Vietnam; it is the road that should be followed by the people; it is the road that will be followed in Our America, with the advantage that the armed groups could create Coordinating Councils to embarrass the repressive forces of Yankee imperialism and accelerate the revolutionary triumph


Here Che seems happy at the idea that South America is on the way to becoming another Vietnam, which given the suffering in Vietnam is not a pleasant sentiment.


It is absolutely just to avoid all useless sacrifices. Therefore, it is so important to clear up the real possibilities that dependent America may have of liberating itself through pacific means. For us, the solution to this question is quite clear: the present moment may or may not be the proper one for starting the struggle, but we cannot harbor any illusions, and we have no right to do so, that freedom can be obtained without fighting. And these battles shall not be mere street fights with stones against tear-gas bombs, or of pacific general strikes; neither shall it be the battle of a furious people destroying in two or three days the repressive scaffolds of the ruling oligarchies; the struggle shall be long, harsh, and its front shall be in the guerrillas' refuge, in the cities, in the homes of the fighters — where the repressive forces shall go seeking easy victims among their families — in the massacred rural population, in the villages or cities destroyed by the bombardments of the enemy.


Here Che admits that violent, protracted revolution is the only way forward and whilst he admits that useless sacrifices should not be made, he certainly seems willing to make sacrifices (of himself and importantly of others) which he deems useful.

We must carry the war into every corner the enemy happens to carry it: to his home, to his centers of entertainment; a total war. It is necessary to prevent him from having a moment of peace, a quiet moment outside his barracks or even inside; we must attack him wherever he may be, make him feel like a cornered beast wherever he may move. Then his moral fiber shall begin to decline. He will even become more beastly, but we shall notice how the signs of decadence begin to appear.


The people who are to be so targetted hardly seem viewed as humans to me, rather Che seems to think of them only in terms of agents of capitalism or imperialism. Again, the idea that the enemy exists only as the enemy and that therefore anything is permitted is something I am not so keen on.

This means a long war. And, once more, we repeat it, a cruel war. Let no one fool himself at the outset and let no one hesitate to start out for fear of the consequences it may bring to his people. It is almost our sole hope for victory. We cannot elude the call of this hour. Vietnam is pointing it out with its endless lesson of heroism, its tragic and everyday lesson of struggle and death for the attainment of final victory.


Again, it seems to me that he admits the war will be long and cruel, but then seems to glory in it. I admit that he sees it as the only way to achieve his final goal, but surely this attitude is unpleasant.

How close we could look into a bright future should two, three, or many Vietnams flourish throughout the world with their share of deaths and their immense tragedies, their everyday heroism and their repeated blows against imperialism, impelled to disperse its forces under the sudden attack and the increasing hatred of all peoples of the world!


This was what I orginally referred to. He is calling for the sacrifice of MILLIONS of people for the revolution. This kind of conviction, this desire for so much suffering in the name of the greater good is surely dangerous. The idea that he might be wrong does not seem to register and when he is calling for this sort of thing, some sort fo doubt, some worry, some hulmanity is surely needed.

So, yes Che's context is one in which he views himself battling for humanity against a great evil, but my point is that Che is not only willing to sacrifice his own life for this great undertaking, but the lives of millions of others. Context here does not, I suggest, save him from being morally condemned.

On a side note, I am a Liberal (in the Continental, British and American senses of the word, though I reject the negative overtones in the American version) and more importantly a Kantian, so of course my criticisms will be coming from a cetain point of view, one which rejects many of the assumptions a Marxist might make, but I don't thik that makes conversation, dialogue or argument impossible. view post


Che Guevara posted 10 April 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionChe Guevara by Sokar, Auditor

Entropic_existence -&gt; &quot;Unfortunately human nature has prevented true marxism from ever being achieved as a government style.&quot;

I would never accept human nature as an argument, human nature is created through history. Greed and jelousy (which you are probably referring to) cannot be justified as human nature, most closely a common human trait, yet not one that is absolute and cannot be overcome through change of society. Of course this change should remain consistent.

&quot;Some places have gotten close but they've never passed the dictator stage.&quot;

It is impossible to overcome a form of dictatorial stage in any form of society. The international relations of states will simply not allow this to happen. If you look into a history of US you will find plenty of dictatorial rules applied on the population, keeping in mind the international relations.

&quot;I don't think it is likely to work anytime soon, not on large scales anyway.&quot;

Granted, marxism cannot work on a large scale, but I dare you to find any form of government that can. We don't have democracy, it's the same lie. The mere fact of existence of a bureaucracy is enough proof for this.

Peter -&gt; For somebody who studied marxism, you sure have a strange form of criticism. You should remember the endless struggle of classes, this is an ongoing process (actually one of the few critiques that can be applied to Marxism in general). The comments on Che hold no stance, not on Marxism nor on himself. Besides, the context you should see Che in, in my initial comment, was not the speech. For one who studies sociology you should have understood what speeches are and what their essence is.

Even so, your interpretation of his speech is not correct. He does advocate war, but he sees it as the only means of following the course that is desired by the state and by the population, instead that one desired by the US. Whether he is right or wrong is not for you, nor me for that matter, to decide, but for the Cuban people, those who actually are dependant on the course taken.

I would agree with you on one minor point, he does advocate war by populist means, no doubt that he was one. But in order to succeed in this there is a need for sentiment from the people, and if this sentiment exists, then you cannot &quot;morally condemn&quot; him. This only proves that people share his view, even if he is a populist. I cannot find a single word in his speech where he invents an evil in order to justify the wars (which actually US did).

The fact that you are a Liberal and Kantian does not mean anything, it creates a dialogue between us two. I never rejected the fact that a dialogue is not possible, I simply noted that your arguments are obscure and my non-willingness to participate in a discussion with people who are brainwashed with the idea of democracy (just as much as those with any &quot;faith&quot; they have, without any reasoning). view post


Che Guevara posted 10 April 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionChe Guevara by Peter, Auditor

Granted, marxism cannot work on a large scale, but I dare you to find any form of government that can. We don't have democracy, it's the same lie. The mere fact of existence of a bureaucracy is enough proof for this.


Define democracy. At the very least it is almost certain that we do have elitist democracy (as per Schumpeter) which essentially says we choose which elites rule us every five years. If you mean direct or participationist democracy, then you might want to look a little more closely at local democracy in the US. As far as I can see that seems to be people engaging in the decision-making process in a way which seems in line with general notions of direct democracy. Perhaps it isn't, but I suggest that it isn't obvious.

For somebody who studied marxism, you sure have a strange form of criticism. You should remember the endless struggle of classes, this is an ongoing process (actually one of the few critiques that can be applied to Marxism in general).


I didn't want to give the idea that I had directly studied Marxism in depth, only that I think I have enough of an idea of it to be able to hold up my side of an argument and possibly level some critiques at it (albeit from a point of view other than the Marxist).

I was a little confused by what you said here (possibly because my experience with Marxism is more tangental than direct), but what do you mean when you say that my form of criticism is strange for someone who has studied Marxism? Do you mean that there is some Marxist critique of certain forms of criticism (forms which I indulge in) which argues that use of such forms is illegitimate? If so, then if I reject that critique as false can I not continue in my use of these forms of criticism?

When you say that the notion of class struggle being an ongoing process, but that this is a critique applicable to Marxism, do you mean that Marx got it wrong when he claimed that once beyond the socialist system, there would be no classes?

Even so, your interpretation of his speech is not correct. He does advocate war, but he sees it as the only means of following the course that is desired by the state and by the population, instead that one desired by the US. Whether he is right or wrong is not for you, nor me for that matter, to decide, but for the Cuban people, those who actually are dependant on the course taken.


I disagree emphatically with this idea that 'the people's' will is not for us to judge. Indeed the very notion that such a thing as 'the people' exists is highly suspicious to me, it seems to posit an entity that is greater than the sum of its parts. After all I suspect a large number of people would not have wanted a long protracted war similar to Vietnam and to say that 'the people' did is either to bring in some majoritarian principle where a majority of the population can decide what 'the people' actually want, or you have to say that there is an objective thing that 'the people' whether or not anyone actually does want it (so people can be mistaken about their desires). Neither of these I find convincing (though I suspect Sokar might find the latter more appealing than me), so I reject that a group of people can want anything they haven't all said they want. So, if we have 10 people who form the London Morris Dancing fellowship and 9 want to dance x and one wants to dance y, then the group does not want anything.

So if there is no such thing as 'the people', then what is there? Majority rule becomes problematic because of Arrow's impossibility theorem (essentially whenever there are more than three voters and more than three issues it becomes possible for there to be no majority view that is stable, that can't be defeated by some coalition or other), nor is such rule moral per se. Other principles are required to render it so and if this is the case then we have a set of moral principles to which even the majority must obey. As such we can disagree with what the majority wants on moral grounds.

Now if the group had got together and decided to form some sort of a constitution which instituted majority rule, then insofar as the one willing y willed to be ruled by the majority, then he does will x because he wills the majority rule. But this can't help Che (for me as a Liberal at least), because I hold that a consitution which breaches someone's fundamental rights is not valid and forcing someone to will their own likely deaths when they have done no wrong is surely not respectful of their basic humanity (and hence a breach of their most fundamental right). Anyway, I suspect the notion of contract theory is hardly one which a Marxist would wish to uphold.

I would agree with you on one minor point, he does advocate war by populist means, no doubt that he was one. But in order to succeed in this there is a need for sentiment from the people, and if this sentiment exists, then you cannot &quot;morally condemn&quot; him. This only proves that people share his view, even if he is a populist. I cannot find a single word in his speech where he invents an evil in order to justify the wars (which actually US did).


See above for comments on notions of 'the people' and the impossibility of moral condemnation.

The fact that you are a Liberal and Kantian does not mean anything, it creates a dialogue between us two. I never rejected the fact that a dialogue is not possible, I simply noted that your arguments are obscure and my non-willingness to participate in a discussion with people who are brainwashed with the idea of democracy (just as much as those with any &quot;faith&quot; they have, without any reasoning).


The point of my mentioning my affiliations was to indicate where my arguments were coming from (it makes things much clearer if one has an idea of the presuppositions from which another is working). As to the idea that anyone who professes support for Liberal Democracy as the most moral form of government they know (even when comparing theory to theory, even including the notion of an ideal marxist state, I hold Liberal democracy to be superior) is brainwashed, well I suspect you don't hold that view. But then you assume that I have not spent many hours and days considering my views on democracy, that I have not written essays and read large amounts on precisely this, that I am not truly capable of self-reflection to some degree. I have my reasons for my rejection of Marxism, they are not reflexive &quot;USSR bad&quot; thoughts and whilst they may well be wrong, I do not think they are clearly and obviously the result of too little thinking and too much blind acceptance of the darkness that comes before. <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D -->

Having said that I fully understand your desire not to discuss Marxism, it is a complex topic, perhaps too difficult to truly argue about across a message board. view post


Che Guevara posted 10 April 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionChe Guevara by Sokar, Auditor

Let me start with the elitist rule, for bureaucracy is not a rule from the elected elite. Just look the meaning of the word on dictionary.com or something. Bureaucracy by definition means it is not elected. But more importantly, where do you get the idea that we are engaged in decision-making process? More interestingly, should we?

I want to refrain from Marxism, not because iit would be difficult to communicate through the message board, but because it will not bring us anywhere.

Having said this, there is a comment on the notion &quot;people&quot; and the involvement of the Constitution to this. You are right of saying that the long-lasting war was probably not the will of the &quot;people&quot;, but this does not mean that at that stage, where the Cuban people were actually fed up by the US supported dictator, there was no support in resistance and indeed violence towards the ruling crass. That from the whole population, some were indifferent towards the revolution, does not mean that the revolution was unjustified.
To bring the Constitution to it, how does one arrive to have a Constitution and why are there endless amendments (to constitutions in general). What if Y never wanted a constitution in the first place, why does his birth become a burden to the society? Why does Y in this situation have to addapt himself to the traditional ruling system? Moreover, what are fundemental rights? Are they not just as well similar to constitution that limits one's action and even thought?

I do not call you brainwashed for the reason of lack of thought, I do call you that and the vast majority (including myself) brainwashed as our thoughts are not our own. Thougths are a reconstruction of some experience, be it physical mental or whatever else experience. Our research may change, shape or indeed strengthen our thoughts, but in no means they would be ours.

Finally, it is irrelevant to see where arguments come from, the only relevance is what the argument is. Maybe in order to understand the argument there would be a use of knowledge from which angle, but there is no need for such, once the argument is clear (I know I am lacking this ability). view post


Che Guevara posted 10 April 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionChe Guevara by Entropic_existence, Moderator

Quote: &quot;sokar&quot;:1lynmivi

I would never accept human nature as an argument, human nature is created through history. Greed and jelousy (which you are probably referring to) cannot be justified as human nature, most closely a common human trait, yet not one that is absolute and cannot be overcome through change of society. Of course this change should remain consistent.
[/quote:1lynmivi]

Just because it can be overcome doesn't mean it isn't human nature. Humans in a natural state are not as altruistic as some people seem to think
that they are sometimes. Sometimes altruism is good for survival, but generally speaking we are hardwired to do what we have to survive. I'm not saying that this justifies greed and jealousy, but it is what it is. My argument was that no where that has tried to implement marxism has the society overcome this to the degree necessary for it to really work. Usually it is failure of the leaders, not the people.

&quot;Some places have gotten close but they've never passed the dictator stage.&quot;

It is impossible to overcome a form of dictatorial stage in any form of society. The international relations of states will simply not allow this to happen. If you look into a history of US you will find plenty of dictatorial rules applied on the population, keeping in mind the international relations.


I don't see how this supports the argument one way or the other. I'm not even sure what you mean by dictatorial rules being applies on the population. Draconian perhaps but the common usage of dictatorship is one person controlling the government with pretty much absolute authority. Other then perhaps during the formation of the US government system I don't think this has ever occured. There have been leaders who have abused their powers, and leaders and groups who have enacted draconian laws and measures but I can't think of any instances of a leader being an actual dictator. I'm not advocating for or against any particular method of government here, and I'm also not an American and would definitly not hold up their system as the best.

How does the international relations of states demand a dictator? As far as I know it only requires some form of representation and a means by which they can communicate and ratify agreements and treaties. The simple fact is I cannot think of any state level of marxism or other flavour of communism that managed to get past a realtively early stage of the process. I would argue that there never has been a true Marxist nation in our history. Most have simply enacted communist practices and still managed to concentrate the power in the hands of a few. They merely swapped one class in the struggle for another. The Party Elite that make up the oligarchy at the top are still at the top. I don't see how that gives the people power or does much in bringing about the communist ideal


Granted, marxism cannot work on a large scale, but I dare you to find any form of government that can. We don't have democracy, it's the same lie. The mere fact of existence of a bureaucracy is enough proof for this.


There are many different forms of democracy and having a bureaucracy in place doesn't automatically turn it into a democracy. If the will of the people is carried out in the formation of laws and governing of the nation then that is a democracy of some flavour. There is ideal participatory democracy but that will never happen as it cannot exist outside of the community level at best.

Once you get to a sufficiently large level you need an administrative body to deliver services, ideally it is non-partisan. If it carries out the will and laws of the people it is not undemocratic. Of course I don't think most western democracies do that good of a job of representing the population. Having lobby and special interest groups clamouring for the ear of the government undermines democracy more than anything else in the western world. view post


Che Guevara posted 11 April 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionChe Guevara by Sokar, Auditor

Entropic_existence -&gt; Generally we are of the same opinion, except n the human nature part and lack of explanation on dictatorial rule from my part.

The mistake you made is saying that Marxism failed because the degree of &quot;human nature&quot; has not been overcome. But you fail to see (or just don't include) two reasons for this:
1. The world as a whole, international scene, thus also pressure from outside. It is arguable how much US influenced the Soviet Union in its course of history, but I would say that without the US, or generally any other international pressure, there would be no need for the leaders to fail their people. Of course the same is true for US, or any other 'superpower'.
2. And as mentioned the consistency. After 80 years of the SU existence, one cannot really change this &quot;human nature&quot;, it would be practically impossible, especially if you keep in mind the hardships of the population due to the international scnene.

By dictatorial rule I actually mean the manipulation. I am talking about the patriot act of the recent for example (though I heard it there are some things happening to chage that). But in general, in the US, there are many similar situation where the population has no say on the things mostly influencing them in the long-run, reason is usually national security. Again, not only US, but any 'superpower' in history has had the same action. This is the reason I say there is no democracy and that it is the same lie. This just as well explains how there is a need for dictator in the international scene.

Peter -&gt; I just remembered, &quot;the majority must obey&quot; part. My critique doesn't make much sense if we disagree on this major issue. view post


Che Guevara posted 11 April 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionChe Guevara by Peter, Auditor

Let me start with the elitist rule, for bureaucracy is not a rule from the elected elite. Just look the meaning of the word on dictionary.com or something. Bureaucracy by definition means it is not elected. But more importantly, where do you get the idea that we are engaged in decision-making process? More interestingly, should we?


Sorry, yes forgot about the bureaucracy bit. Nonetheless I don't see the existence of a bureacracy as hugely prejudicial to elitist democratic rule (it is much more so to participationist democratic rule, or would be if this were ever widespread). A bureacracy does indeed have entrenched interests and is usually not elected (although actually many positions in US local government that are essentially bureaucratic are in fact elected), but it remains a tool, its exists to carry out policy and at most it can block or slow down things, it cannot create (well it can depending on the system, but it does not have the influence over legislation a minister, say, does).

As to whether we should have participationist democracy, well I would argue that to the extent that it is theoretically possible, then yes, because it is only through self-legislation that we can become fully free (for a given definition of free).

You are right of saying that the long-lasting war was probably not the will of the &quot;people&quot;, but this does not mean that at that stage, where the Cuban people were actually fed up by the US supported dictator, there was no support in resistance and indeed violence towards the ruling crass. That from the whole population, some were indifferent towards the revolution, does not mean that the revolution was unjustified.


You are right, that some people are indifferent or opposed to a revolution does not mean that the revolution is unjustified, but equally that a majority does believe a revolution is right does not mean it is justified either. Justification for revolution is not a simple majoritarian decision, there are other factors to be considered (I would argue at least), such as people's rights and duties. Also as a general rule when a revolution succeeds it is usually because the majority (or a very significant minority) of the population are actively or passively against the ruling elite, but this is not equivalent to saying that they are for whoever takes power later. After all, the Bolcheviks were a minority in Russia in 1917, the revolution happened because so many people were against the Tsar etc., but they took power in a putsch.

To bring the Constitution to it, how does one arrive to have a Constitution and why are there endless amendments (to constitutions in general). What if Y never wanted a constitution in the first place, why does his birth become a burden to the society? Why does Y in this situation have to addapt himself to the traditional ruling system? Moreover, what are fundemental rights? Are they not just as well similar to constitution that limits one's action and even thought?


The problem of explaining why someone should obey a constitution (or rather the state set up by one) is one of the central problems of political philosophy today. I would argue from a concept of rationality demanding that we obey just constitutions (or mostly just ones), or strive to create them when the current ones are not just. As to why a state should support people who have not explicitly consented to society, well I think this should happen for the same reason that the state should organise aid for poorer countries, duties of benevolence (note I don't say that the West does this now, but it should).

Fundamental rights are those rights that we have by virtue of being rational beings and they do indeed limit our actions (insofar as there are sanctions for breaking them). The thoughts thing I will deal with below.

I do not call you brainwashed for the reason of lack of thought, I do call you that and the vast majority (including myself) brainwashed as our thoughts are not our own. Thougths are a reconstruction of some experience, be it physical mental or whatever else experience. Our research may change, shape or indeed strengthen our thoughts, but in no means they would be ours.


I have to say I think this a rather strange definition of brainwashing or what it is to own our own thoughts. On your definition NO ONE owns their own thoughts, and that includes Marxists, and if Liberals are brainwashed and this is bad, then the same holds for them. If on the other hand, being a Marxist allows one to avoid the brainwashing (which I presume you do wish to claim, otherwise we descend into nihilism and then why wouldyou even be engaging in this discussion), then you must explain what it is about Marxism that permits this. It is surely not simply having the requisite Marxist beliefs, for someone could believe without understanding or for the wrong reasons.

If it is not the content of the beliefs then it must either be the form or the manner in which the beliefs are arrived at that creates thought free of brainwashing. If this is the case then it must be possible for someone to think using this form or reason in the same way as the Marxist, but with a different content of the thoughts and therefore be free from brainwashing and yet not a Marxist, for to the best of my knoweldge Marx doesn't argue that content can derive from form, unlike Kant (even though the Marxist might still have true beliefs and the other false ones).

Now as it is I disagree with your definition of brainwashing. That all our thoughts stem from experience seems to be an assertion of some form of determinism, but if we can be compatibilists about free will and determinism (and I have argued for this elsewhere on this site), then why can we not say that our thoughts can be made to be free through rational self-reflection. To the extent that our beliefs are rational they are formally free, they are our own. It is only heterogeneity of thoughts, thoughts which come from the Darkness that Comes Before that are unfree and we overcome this darkness with rationality.

It seems to me that research, self-reflection and philosophy all seem to help us on the road to rationality and to that extent then education etc. can render us free. Now I relaise that there is the claim that all of these are just tools of fooling ourselves, or of prosecuting class interests, but for the reasons given at the beginning of this part of my response to you (i.e. why a Marxist cannot alone be free).

Finally, it is irrelevant to see where arguments come from, the only relevance is what the argument is. Maybe in order to understand the argument there would be a use of knowledge from which angle, but there is no need for such, once the argument is clear (I know I am lacking this ability).


You are right, where the argument comes from is irrelevant, only the argument matters (which is why I find the Marxist notion of superstructure so frustrating). But, when, as it must be in such a context, one's arguments are ambiguous and less than fully rigourous, knowing from which position the other is arguing is often a great help in understanding what the other argument is meant to be. view post


Che Guevara posted 11 April 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionChe Guevara by Entropic_existence, Moderator

Quote: &quot;Sokar&quot;:1jfq21rj
Entropic_existence -&gt; Generally we are of the same opinion, except n the human nature part and lack of explanation on dictatorial rule from my part.

The mistake you made is saying that Marxism failed because the degree of &quot;human nature&quot; has not been overcome. But you fail to see (or just don't include) two reasons for this:
1. The world as a whole, international scene, thus also pressure from outside. It is arguable how much US influenced the Soviet Union in its course of history, but I would say that without the US, or generally any other international pressure, there would be no need for the leaders to fail their people. Of course the same is true for US, or any other 'superpower'.
2. And as mentioned the consistency. After 80 years of the SU existence, one cannot really change this &quot;human nature&quot;, it would be practically impossible, especially if you keep in mind the hardships of the population due to the international scnene.
[/quote:1jfq21rj]

If Marxism cannot exist as a viable governmental system in the international community, or spawn the worldwide workers revolution that it promises, than it still failed. Regardless of reasons it didn't work. Plus I think you are shifting far too much of the blame for its failure on the international community. Anytime you put people in positions of authority and power, the liklihood of them giving that up is measurable. The greater the power and authority they hold and the smaller than liklihood becomes.

By dictatorial rule I actually mean the manipulation. I am talking about the patriot act of the recent for example (though I heard it there are some things happening to chage that). But in general, in the US, there are many similar situation where the population has no say on the things mostly influencing them in the long-run, reason is usually national security. Again, not only US, but any 'superpower' in history has had the same action. This is the reason I say there is no democracy and that it is the same lie. This just as well explains how there is a need for dictator in the international scene.


That is draconian or authoritarian rule, not dictatorial by definition. Democracies often do really bad things in the name of the governed, just as dictatorships do really bad things. Is there such a thing as a true and pure democracy on the planet? No, at least not on the state level. As I've said before communism is a good ideal, and works pretty well on the community level. Participatory Democracy, or some Democracy of some kind will tend to work better on the State/Nation level. The catch is you need to make it as participatory as possible and have it still remain viable.

Capitalism is a whole different issue, and I'm not going to touch it. I don't think the current model works, or at least is sustainable nor does it lend itself very well to a democratic society. I would argue that most western nations are actually hybrid democractic/oligrachy situations. Sure a regular person can get into government but most people there are career politicians and industrialists with their own vested interests above those of the people they are supposed to represent. view post


Che Guevara posted 13 April 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionChe Guevara by Sokar, Auditor

Peter -&gt; Some minor comments again.. First, I am not a Marxist, neither am I a nihilist.

On bureaucracy, I am not against one, in fact I don't see how a large scale community can function without one. I just made a comment to say that bureaucracies are not essentially democratic (and to give you a perspective of my thought, I don't see why there is a necessity for a democratic rule, &quot;it's the same lie&quot;)

As it goes for the phrase participatory democracy (as EU is willing to have in the near fuure), the problem lies again (just as with bureaucracy) in the phrase itself. Democracy by definition should be participatory, to induce participatory on to it is unnecessary and it doesn't make much sense.

With the justice part, I made a mistake, I didn't mean to use the word in that meaning. I agree that justice is limited to states and calling the revolution justifiable doesn't make much sense if looked at from this point. However, this would not mean that other factors can make a revolution justifiable in this sense. The same would go for the constitution, the strive for justified constitution would not make any sense if that constitution is just only by the definition of a state (but we already descussed this issue and simply have different views)

The thing I do want to elaborate on, is the rational beings and the thoughts. Again I am not a Marxist, nor a nihilist and the reason for this descussion is Che Guevara whom I see as a hero instead of some type of Hitler. I am not saying that Marxism can avoid brainwashing (as in my view), to be honest I am not sure what can (maybe being raised as Maugli, but even then...) But the point here is that we do not own our thoughts.
The argument that this idea (experience shaping our thoughts) is deterministic is not valid, as experiences occur and reoccur throughout history, but not throughout a lifetime. Every life is a new one and I don't see the &quot;eternal recurrence&quot; as an option (there are barriers in physics to this, though I am not sure if I fully understand them. The main point is that laws of physics are limited to earth, in case one of you knows I would appreciate that).

I do accept that to a major extent that education in general helps us rationalise, though I guess that from the other persepective as you accept, the reasons for education are completely different. But the limit to this is that we accept that at one point we think that we are rational, but at certain moments of life (crises situations) this rationalised being acts through different means, and thus is not rational at all. It does not therefore &quot;render us free&quot;, it merely pumps up the ego of striving for commonly accepted human feature which has never existed.

Entropic_existence -&gt; In a way you are right, at least I cannot think of an argument at this point to counter that Communism failed. I disagree somehow, but without an argument, my disagreement is void.

I would agree with you not to touch the Capitalist issue, a different story, even if it is related. And as it goes for the praticipatory democracy, I already gave an answer to Peter. But I do have a question, how do you come to see authoritarian as different from dictatorial? I suppose it has to do with the word dictator, which is not so popular in democracies, and I could be wrong, but don't they mean the same thing? view post


Che Guevara posted 13 April 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionChe Guevara by Entropic_existence, Moderator

No it simply has to do with the definition of dictator, and more specifically the way dictatorial and authoritarian (I believe) are usually applied in discussions of political science. Things like the Patriot Act in the US are, in my mind, authoritarian, or more accurately draconian measures. In order for them to be dictatorial in the poli sci sense of the word the US would need to be run by a dictator which it isn't. Nothing to do with the popularity or lack of in the world. It's just a subtle difference in definition but I think it is an important one.

As for Che I don't see him as a Hitler, but I don't really see him as a Hero either. He did some good things, he did some crappy things, and he also did some incredibly incompetent things. view post


Che Guevara posted 17 October 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionChe Guevara by Anonymous, Subdidact

Che, along with Raul Castro are responsible for planting the seed of communism in Fidel's ear. After the 1959 revolution, Fidel did not carry out his promises of freedom and democracy for the Cuban people. Camilo Cienfuegos, another prominent Cuban revolutionary l;eader with Che, Raul and Fidel soon found himself in a plane that mysteriously crashed. Che was to Fidel as Dick Cheney or Don Rumsfeld are to Bush. He whispered in Fidel's ear to carry out totalitarian orders of communism. He was for the majority of the people, but in the process he marginalized the rights of too many. view post


Che Guevara posted 21 June 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionChe Guevara by Enkidu, Commoner

Very interesting discussion. What we're hitting on here, ironically enough are issues that Bakker hits upon a little in his books, vis-a-vis the nature of Truth. We'll leave that alone though, and get to this subject on its own merits. I am a freelance journalist, and have spent quite a lot of time in South America, particularly in Colombia, which has been one of the most violent countries in the world, although right now it's a little better.
Ernesto &quot;Che&quot; Guevara was definitely an idealist. One of his first jobs away from his home in Argentina, after recieving a medical degree, was working with diseased people in Guatemala, including lepers. While in Argentina in the early 1950's, he witnessed the coup de' tat there, which installed a brutal dictatorship, and was backed and financed by the CIA and the auspices of the United Fruit Company, which was owned by the Dulles family, that is the family of John Foster Dulles, who was U.S. Secretary of Defense at that time and beyond, and who is the person that the airport of the same name in Washington, D.C. is honoring.
Che had famously toured South America on a motorcycle when he was younger, which first brought him into real contact with the breadth of poverty, warfare and suffering in Latin countries. From my own experience, they are conditions that you are not qualified to talk about unless you have stayed there living among them for an extended time. In many ways, it is hell. There are a lot of good aspects to Latin countries as well, but the bad shit going on, to be blunt, is horrible, and pretty eye-opening, especially the plight of the desplazados, simple country people who are forced out of their homes in rural areas by either rampant and vast attempts at industrialization, warfare among governmental and paramilitary groups(the paramilitary including the &quot;death-squads&quot; existant in many countires, who incidentally were trained in the past in their methods of torture and mass murder at the &quot;School of the Americas&quot; in Virginia, which now operates under another name, as they were ostensibly &quot;caught&quot; for these activities in the 1980's), and in the modern days, guerillas.
To give an example of how this still goes on, just about a month ago, Chiquita Bananas and their parent corporations got caught sneaking a load of arms into Colombia in a fruit shipment. They were only fined $250,000 by one of those wonderful international policing organizations, and the story did not make many waves in the U.S., which only increases feelings of injustice and helplessness in Latin countries, where of course one has to live with the realities of the U.S. government and large corporations purposely destabilizing one's economy and society with war, death and poverty.
This is a truncated version, I encourage folks to get the info themselves...Back to Che. So after seeing these sort of things, he eventually hooked up with a group of Cuban exiles led by a young Fidel Castro in Mexico, where they were training to invade their home country of Cuba, and to attempt to oust the current dictator, Batista, who, interestingly enough, also was funded in a large part by the United Fruit Company. Che signed on as a doctor. The infamous trip of the boat &quot;Granma&quot;, however, which was carrying the invasion force, changed this. After a terrible sea voyage, the Granma was ambushed by Batista troops when it landed. Most were killed, and only a handful remained. One of these handfuls escaped the landing site with Che, who was faced with the choice to continue being a medic, or to pull the disorganized survivors together and lead them. The rest is history.
As for that history...I make no claims of Right or Wrong. I do however understand Che's violent techniques towards a greater goal. Did they work in the long-run? No, because today we have guerilla groups all over Latin America who have become corrupted through their use of violence, and are now more interested in gaining control of the resources that they plan to wrest away from the governments and corporations for themselves than they are with freedom. Which is ironically enough the reason that many of them, unknown to their common soldiers are actually funded and controlled by our old friends the CIA. It makes some good economic and political sense to pay the guerillas, paramilitary groups and the Latin governments themselves to fight one another. Everyone's buying weapons, and the instability means that for instance Colombia will never get control of their large oil reserves, their supply of emeralds(the largest in the world), or their vast agricultural resources, and be able to compete with the hegemnonic power of the U.S. at all.
The other question is, does that failure make Che a monster? No, I don't think so. As I said, if you've ever experienced the conditions of Latin America at the hands of the West(from the Conquistadores on), then you might understand the desperation, anger and hatred which would lead a man like Che to use the methods he used. He formed a philosophy, and tested it in the real world, which is why Jean Paul Sartre once called him the &quot;most complete man of the 20th century&quot;. Much will continue to be said about Ernesto Guevara, some will twist facts to call him a murderering scumbag, some will twist the same facts to say that he was a saint. As usual in life, the answer probably does not lie in either of these extremes. The answer is not only with the man, but with the world he lived in, in the actions of others, and in a way, what &quot;came before&quot; him, rather than what has &quot;come after&quot;. If a million people decide to eat on chairs instead of tables, then a chair isn't a chair anymore...Yeah, that's kind of non-sequiter, I suppose. Sorry this is a bit long, but that's the nuts and bolts of it anyway...Everyone take care... view post


Che Guevara posted 21 June 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionChe Guevara by Harrol, Moderator

Enkidu,

That was a great post. I am not a fan of Che by any extent nor do I really hate him. I do not know enough to do either. Your perspective or should I rather say the picture you painted makes me look at the area and politics differently. view post


Che Guevara posted 24 June 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionChe Guevara by non-Ajencis, Commoner

Many people in the West don't understand how their easy lives are actually supported by the poorer nations of this world.

Your coffee, your bananas, your diamonds, your oil, all come from the oppression, and degradation of poor people in third world countries. It really is a zero sum game.

People ask...&quot;Why do they hate us?&quot;

Because we take their resources, and take them in a way that keeps them poor.

Not by might, but by greed. We buy their politicians, their industry, their laws, and say...&quot;Hey! We are just using the free market model, and a free market is fair and just!&quot;

The free market is tilted towards those with the most money. Usually handed down from rich parents who got their money from rich grandparents, who got their money from robber barons and commodity cartels in the 1800's.

I am not a communist, I think, or a a socialist, just a citizen who is trapped in the machine like most folks.

Che Guevera tried to put a wrench in the machine, by the only way he knew how. Popular, violent revolution.

That's how it's done. I can't think of any other way for an oppressed people to overcome tyrants. And by tyrants I also mean oligarchs, aristocrats, technocrats, bankers, and industrialists. They are the Marie Antoinettes of this time.

A well as the John Kerrys, and the Bushes, and the Kennnedys.

Let them eat cake (or hi-speed internet, and gasoline), indeed.

Perhaps Guevera was naive, or misguided, but he tried to break the cycle of oppression in Cuba, but like they say, the road to hell...

I am sure many folks don't think of George Washington as a murderer, but he actually won. And winners write their histories. view post


Che Guevara posted 25 June 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionChe Guevara by Jamara, Auditor

Wow, yes, very interesting topic and posts. I really don't know enough about the man to have an oppinion, but I would like to drop a few responses to prior posts.

I do believe that no government type works on a large national or international scale. In fact, I don't think people function on that great a scale either. All animals have an &quot;instinctual&quot; (I'm not sure if that's the right word but I'll use it) limit to size of the populace they live in. Let's focus on mammals here, predatorial mammals usually tend to function in lesser numbers, whereas prey tend to function better in larger numbers. There is a direct correlation among primates as to brainsize and the size of it's functional &quot;societies&quot;. The question among scientists/sociologists is what is the cap size for humans. I personally believe in tribalism. Communism and Democracy are both functional on a tribal scale, but not a national.

I'm an American and I must admit that I do not live in a Democracy. That is a falsehood. I live in a Republic. The difference between a republic and a representative democracy is that in a republic we are given certain inalienable rights which cannot be take away by majority votes. Republicanism may be the closest mankind has come to a universally functional form of government.

Now, some on this thread have been opposed to the idea that violence is inherent in liberation of the down-trodden. They seem fundamentally opposed, and yet they are so pro-American government. First off, how do you think we became America? A violent revolution. Secondly, how do you think that state government being more influential than federal government came to be? The bloodiest war America has ever seen was fought for just such a thing. The Civil War. The South may have &quot;lost&quot; but what they fought for perseveres today. They fought to not be ruled bya federal governement but to be allowed to rule themselves. This is how the strength of the State governments came to be. States are free to create their own laws, as long as they do not break any federal laws (the North did win after all). There are only two non-violent revolutions for rights of the underclass that I have ever heard of being successful. American Civil Rights (Martin Luther King Jr. aspect) and Ghandi's freeing of India from British hold. They are the only two nonviolent (on the part of those seeking equality or freedom) that I have ever heard of being successful. There are many, many, many, many, many, many, more such revolutions which were violent on both sides.

I think it is harsh to condemn a man for recognizing that it is violence which wins us our freedoms and liberates. He may not condone it, but he recognizes it as a necessary evil. That fact that he spoke of civilians and inoccents speaks to the fact that he wasn't a terrorist. He wanted to avoid unnecessary loss of life, but to face the behemoth US, there were obvioulsy going to be a lot of casualties and loss of life. And as for his Vietnam statements, I think he was making a timely referrence to political wars the US government would fight and send their own boys to die in which would dissenfranchise the government from its own people. He wasn't proselitizing death of millions, he was sowing social discord within his percieved enemies.

&quot;Freedom isn't free&quot; view post


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