Guevara, love, and r’evolution


Here’s a favorite Che Guevara quote that came into my inbox from an Occupy London mailing list. It seems very timely and important to how we understand and practice “love” in the context of Occupy activism.

At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality. Perhaps it is one of the great dramas of the leader that he or she must combine a passionate spirit with a cold intelligence and make painful decisions without flinching… In these circumstances one must have a great deal of humanity and a strong sense of justice and truth in order not to fall into extreme dogmatism and cold scholasticism, into isolation from the masses. We must strive every day so that this love of living humanity will be transformed into actual deeds, into acts that serve as examples, as a moving force.

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2 Comments on “Guevara, love, and r’evolution”

  1. January 10, 2012 at 9:03 am #

    It’s a great quote and one of his wisest. However, Che Guevara became known for murdering people in the Cuban revolutionary army for being lazy, or doing something he considered quite wrong. So . . . how did the wisdom in this quote get set aside, or at least twisted around in his head enough to justify murdering people? He was a complex person, like other people who devoted their lives to changing the world. I would have admired him more if he could have had love be not only his motivation, but also his process. Che believed in the power of violence and fear, and those were his tools and methods. Let Occupy be far wiser than that, and learn from those, like MLK Jr, who were not only motivated by love but also acted with love to create a more loving society.

  2. January 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    hi Laurie,

    I much appreciate your commitment to the non-violent ways of Occupy. Frankly, I was shocked to learn that Guevara was “known for murdering people in the Cuban revolutionary army for being lazy.” We, at The Future of Occupy,” would certainly NOT condone that behavior.

    I did a little research to find out more about the subject. The Guevera entry of Wikipedia, which is built by the collaborative efforts of a large number of people from all political persuasions, doesn’t mention anything like that. The only reference I could find to it was in second hand accounts by publications and websites who are declared enemies of the Cuban Revolution.

    We neither want to cover up well-documented historical facts, nor enter in a debate with you about Guevara’s presumed crimes, which would detract from the main function of this site. Can you help us by providing a citation that refers to some documented facts about Che Guevara “murdering people in the Cuban revolutionary army for being lazy”?

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