Oct 22 2009

Guerilla Warfare by Che Guevara

I admit that I am one of those spoiled, privileged, affluent Western punks who idolize and romanticize Che Guevara. I admire his courage, his charisma, his dedication, and his manhood. That said, I am not blind to his less sanguine attributes and the wrongheadedness of his ideology, which this book expresses in great detail. He agrees with Mao that guerilla insurgents fighting in rural territory must have the support of the peasantry to succeed. This is where he reveals his nasty side. Peasants who cooperate, he says, must be supported and defended, while peasants who do not cooperate…well, if you want to make an omelette, you gotta break some eggs. Further on he discusses collecting “taxes” from the peasantry to support the insurgency. Included at the end is his chilling manifesto against United States “imperialism,” in which he states that revolutionaries all around the world should make up for their inferior weaponry with the intensity of their hatred. A hero? Not a saint.

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