Free Markets, Free People

The cult of Che and the horror of the “greater good”

Matt Welch at Reason puts me on to an incredible quote that I’ll share in a moment.  First a little back story.  Apparently Argentine Che Guevara has some Irish roots.  So a few not so notable town council members in the Irish town of Galway had decided to honor Che’s roots and, as it turns out, that developed into a plan to erect a memorial to him (the Cuban embassy planned on paying for it). 

That, as you might imagine, sparked outrage from around the world when word finally leaked out.  And so now it appears that the memorial won’t be built.

Che Guevara was a ruthless murderer.  Most sane people, who’ve taken the time to research him, know that.  So why does a communist mass murderer remain so popular? 

Well there’s an element of the left so immersed in advancing what they call the “greater good” that they’re willing to forgive or overlook just about anything in its name.  If you don’t believe me all you need to read is this quote by Darragh McManus in the Independent, talking about the Galway kerfuffle:

Yes, Che was ruthless and fanatical and sometimes murderous. But was he a murderer? No, not in the sense of a serial killer or gangland assassin. He was one of those rare people who are prepared to push past ethical constraints, even their own conscience, and bring about a greater good by doing terrible things.

Whether morally justifiable or not, there is something admirable in that — pure principle in a world of shabby compromise. Maybe this is why Che remains such an icon, both in image and idea.

The idea?   That it is a “good thing” when one “so immersed in advancing the ‘greater good’” is willing to “push past ethical restraints and their own conscience” to advance it.

Of course, I assume you understand that Guevara and apparently McManus’s idea of a “greater good” wouldn’t be something most people wouldn’t agree with.   Certainly looking at the Cuba that Guevara helped create few would consider it to be an example of “greater good”.  While what existed there prior to the communist takeover was not ideal by any stretch, what replaced it, in the name of the “greater good”, has turned out to be even worse.

And yet apologists like McManus try to make “the ends justify the means” into something to be admired if the “greater good” – whoever gets to arbitrarily define that – is served.

Look at that quote.   It is the blueprint for China, the Soviet Union, North Korea, Cuba and today’s Venezuela.  Certainly Guevara wasn’t a mass murderer on the level of Mao (65 million) for instance.  But that’s not because he wasn’t willing to be … its more because it wasn’t necessary to advance his version of the “greater good”.

I still don’t get the Che chic.  There’s a video at the Reason site at the above link in which a Cuban exile talks about the irony of entertainment and musical celebrities idolizing Che.  He points out the Che hated the music they play and would have moved to shut them down or worse had they been Cubans.

Take a few moments and watch the video.  It’s enlightening (and provides even more irony than you can imagine).  It truly makes the point that ignorance is bliss.  It also wonders why the mass murderers of communism seem to get a pass.

But if you don’t feel a chill reading McManus’s quote then you have no love for human rights and freedom.  This mindset still exists.  There it is in black and white.  I can’t think of a more dangerous ideology than one that tries to justify anything in the name of the “greater good”.

That’s what you should think of every time you see the visage of Che.

It should remind you that many who claim to believe in the “greater good” really mean the ends justify the means.  That might makes right. That whatever it takes to put them in power is okay.

And the celebration of a mass murderer’s life should tell you all you need to know about them.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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41 Responses to The cult of Che and the horror of the “greater good”

  • If ever I am in Galway, I will make it a point to make use of the Che communal urinal they are building. With extreme prejudice.

  • “He was one of those rare people who are prepared to push past ethical constraints, even their own conscience, and bring about a greater good by doing terrible things.” I can say, I’ll make an exception and wish McManus an opportunity to experience just such a rare person first hand.

  • Take a look at the previous post about overturning Obamacare.

    The reactionary left has this idea that they know what is best for you and are willing to use force to prove it. You should thank them for the boot on your neck because it is for the greater good. It is the worst part of collectivist ideology.

    • @tkc882 I fully expect Obama will relive one of those “FDR moments”.

      There was Humphrey’s Executor v. United States, Schechter Poultry Corporation v. United States, U.S. v. Butler, Carter v. Carter Coal Co., and Morehead v. New York ex rel. Tipaldo.
      All cases where “New Deal” legislation was struck down by the SCOTUS, often with the three liberal leaning justices, Louis D. Brandeis, Benjamin N. Cardozo and Harlan F. Stone, in the majority.

  • Hey, I’m still for renaming terrorist prison at Gitmo to “Chez Guevara” .. it’s more than fitting.

  • What an evil, horrible man McManus is.

    • @The Shark An enabler.

      • @looker It’s horrifying, the justification for mass slaughter. Wonder how McMonster would feel if someone decided that for the “greater good” leftists needed to be killed? Common-sense thinking is dead in the West.

      • @looker Enabler, Guardian journalist, whatever. Maybe someone should write how the British occupation of Ireland was for the greater good…

        • @DocD I was thinking that myself. Wonder if McManus has the intestinal fortitude to write that as his next article by way of ‘thanking’ England for all she’s done for Ireland and the greater good.
          =================================================
          “She gently raised us from the slime, and kept our hands from hellish crime, and she sent us to heaven in her own good time…whack fol the diddle fol the die-dough-day”

  • The only reason he appears on t-shirts is the same reason that Stalin doesn’t… Che took a reasonable photo and makes teenage girls, celebrities and gender-confused emo boys go all quivery. If he’d been as ugly as sin with a big nose, boils and a neanderthal brow-ridge he’d be long forgotten. Remember the core tenet of modern leftism is “appearance”. It also helps he was actually hunted down and executed, unlike your typical communist thug who was either bumped off by the party or died in the lap of luxury.

  • So by an extension of this logic, the Holocaust wasn’t so bad… I mean, it was just for “the greater good”…

    • @Scott Jacobs That was what I was thinking, that’s the sort of justification McBrainless gave it.

    • @Scott Jacobs That was what I was thinking, that’s the sort of justification McBrainless gave it. What he failed to remember is, the differences as to whether or not it turned out to be the ‘greater good’ were determined by Hitler losing, and whether or not you happened to be at all Jewish (and they lost even though Hitler lost).

  • … but Che represents all the best attributes of global terrorists … he’s dead

  • The IRA were a lot more murderous than Che, and also hooked into the “world revolution,” so I’d bet that that’s who is behind the Che memorial in Galway.

  • Hint to Ott Scerb: be sure to work in Batista http://bit.ly/HaIT7r

    • @myweeklycrime Well…Che was good and necessary… And would have been followed on Facebook. Watch and learn…

  • You’re right, Che wasn’t responsible for as many purges as Mao (65 million—your number)—his post-revolutionary killings are only documented at 180 persons. http://www.therealcuba.com/MurderedbyChe.htm

    He may have shot dissenters with his own hand, but at least he didn’t kill thousands, and disrupt the lives of millions, through war in the middle east. I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a war—I know you were a policeman—and carry the responsibility for shooting someone, but it takes a particular kind of mindset to be a revolutionary (to kill and die for what you believe in).

    Although the misdeeds of Che Guevara make good fodder for the anti-Communist ranters of the conservative party, if you check out the views of him in Central and South America, you may find disagreement with your premise—it’s called cultural bias.

    Meanwhile, in our discussion of atrocities of the past, how about a discussion of US killing and mistreatment of Native Americans and Negro slaves. Isn’t there a saying about removing the pole from our own eye before
    complaining about to speck in another’s.

    We’ve got big troubles in the this country. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no time for continued post-Cold War propagandizing.

    • @tadcf I guess you missed the history of Che and Fidel planning on bombing New York department stores during Christmas, and a nuclear attack on the U.S.? But then, you miss so much in that Collectivist Cocoon, dunya? Tell you what, when you start seeing George Armstrong Custer tee-shirts gaining a lot of “radical chic”, come back and we’ll stroll back into history. What a moron.

      • @Ragspierre I don’t know what that has to do with what I’ve said, but include a reference so I can read it.

        • @tadcf Not my job, hon. I like you ignorant…just the way you are. Foils are useful.

        • @Ragspierre The real reason for your noncompliance is because you don’t have a credible reference. Like most conservatives, you just pass on rumors.

      • @Ragspierre Oh, by the way, it’s much easier to call a person a name—like ‘moron’—than is it to use reason and agrue rationally.

        • @tadcf “anti-Communist ranters of the conservative party” and “continued post-Cold War propagandizing”. Think of my identifying you as a “moron” as a short-hand. Or the back of my hand.

        • @Ragspierre Must be a dropout from the goof Prof’s “Leftism For Dummies – Increasing the contradictions”.

    • @tadcf So what flavor of Che-T wearer have we here? My money is on the quivery gender-confused emo boy.

    • @tadcf policeman? ever been in a war? Where do you think you’re commenting?
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      Been doing a lot of that mistreatment of Indians and Negro Slaves in the last, oh, 60 years have we? In YOUR lifetime?

    • @tadcf Who is feeding you with, I’d call it information, but that’s a gross slander to the term.

    • @tadcf Here ya go twerp, read up a little more on the noble hero. You have 180, It’s 216, and counting.
      “I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a war” – and I don’t think you’ve ever lost a family member to some whackjob dragging them out of your house and putting a couple of rounds through them, but the people documenting this have, and they don’t think so much of your hero Che.
      http://www.futurodecuba.org/216_documented_victims.htm.
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      and for your sweet edification, the number of people you have to kill to be a ‘mass murder’ is 4 or more within a short period of time. You don’t have to rise to the level of genocide to be a ‘mass murder’.
      As for your “big troubles in this country”, what the hell has that got to do with McQ’s post. Are you saying we’re not allowed to pay attention to anything besides what you consider important?

      • @looker “…if you check out the views of him in Central and South America, you may find disagreement with your premise…” If you limit your sample to Hugo Chavez, the Sandinistas, and the Maoist terrorists still above ground, I guess…

        • @Ragspierre I don’t have to wander all the way to central and south America to find people who don’t know chalk from cheese, I can find them right here. The supposed 40 something % who think Obama is a good President for starters, bring up history from 150 years ago as if we haven’t changed and who think Che is worthy of defense when it’s likely he’d have only thought them worthy of a bullet to the back of their heads.

        • @looker Which was more humane than Che’s cohort in Cambodia who used plastic bags. A frog-fur distinction, I admit… All one of a piece out of the Black Book.

        • @Ragspierre Like so many things that end your life, the pistol is extremely close, and extremely loud. Now, that plastic bag, it’s so….so….peaceful….well….probably not…..but it’s quieter, I mean aside from the thrashing and the muffled screams…
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          Poor Pol Pot, he just didn’t have a good face for a T-shirt, or an Irishman who thought he was a swell guy.

        • @looker “…but it takes a particular kind of mindset to be a revolutionary (to kill and die for what you believe in).”
          ———————————————————————
          Yeah. If by “mind-set” you mean cowardly, evil somebitch. Pol shoulda been more photogenic.

        • @Ragspierre To kill and die for what you believe in – like,….the SS! Killing and dying for what they believed in. Yessireeeee killing and dying for what you believe in ALWAYS makes you a hero doesn’t it? Even when what you believe in is abhorrent and twisted apparently.

        • @looker Tim McVeigh tee-shirts…??? Not around me.

    • @tadcf LOL! Wow. Just wow. Thanks very much for making the point of the article. Geez. BTW, I had nothing whatsoever to do with “Negro slaves” or “Native Americans”. I’m talking about a murderer and you’re tying to excuse his conduct.

      Thanks again.

      • @McQandO But he had such a nice photo! and all the other kids think he’s really cool! Look at that far away posed look in his steely eyes. Isn’t that cool? And of course we had something to do with the Negro Slaves, and the Native Americans! The sins of communists maniacs committed in our life times are ALWAYS cancelled out by sins committed (and often protested against and rectification attempted) hundreds of years ago by Americans. Always, always, always. 400 years from now if there are 1000 more Socialist paradises that kill another billion people they will ALWAYS be able to say “Americans kept slaves!!!!!!” whenever anyone condemns them, and that will ALWAYS win the argument and the Americans, or the defenders of the Americans will have to shut up and put their tails between their legs, and run.
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        Not so much Taddy, none of us owned slaves, no one you’ve known was ever an American slave, none of us oppressed the Cherokee or the Pawnee, or the Iroquois or the Algonquin or even the Azteca. Che killed the parents and relatives of people who’d probably love to have a word with you about what a swell guy he was. Take your petty socialist loving guilt trip and peddle it elsewhere. The comparison is as predictable as it is childish.

        • @looker Presumably our emo lad is a couple of chapters into Zinn. Who else could write “forget the Cold War” and “remember US slavery” in one small post? OK, the eponymous Erb maybe, but otherwise?