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on Thursday, December 11th, 2008 at 11:08 am by Radley Balko
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Thanks for posting this …. stuff like this infuriates me, and I personally know about 100 people who should watch this but won’t. When I ask “so where’s your Nazi shirt?”, they look at me like I’m crazy. Commie Chic indeed ….. :(
What a great video. I was in Walt Disney World’s Epcot center a couple of years ago and they were selling Mao t-shirts in the “China” section of the property. I was so disgusted with it. My brother asked me why I was so bothered. I told him I didn’t see any Hitler T-Shirts in the Germany section.
December 11th, 2008 at 12:13 pm
Brilliant. I really hope many will see this and adjust their outlooks accordingly.
The Che image is the left’s version of the confederate flag. It has different meaning to different people, and it’s uncool at acknowledge a meaning different from the one you want others to see. Both are a symbol of rebellion to it’s supporters, and a symbol of oppression to it’s opposition.
Personally, I like both rebellion and oppression. That’s why I have on my wall, a confederate flag with Che’s face on it.
That was a good one MikeL.
The ironic thing is that the hollywooders wouldn’t even have a job in che’s world. Well, except for the failed actors that are now sucking dick on Santa Monica Blvd. The che-shirt wearers need a glass belly button installed because their head is so far up their ass they can’t see where they’re going. Personally, if I here a hollywooder yell “fire” I run INTO the building.
Helmut O' Hooligan |
December 11th, 2008 at 5:05 pm
#7 MikeL: “The Che image is the left’s version of the confederate flag. ”
Let me add to the kudos for MikeL. I guess I’ve never thought about it that way. And many Leftists, especially those south of the border, make the “it’s my heritage” arugement and try to dismiss those who don’t join the Che cult as “elitist yankees,” in a manner similar to neo-confederates. Great job, MikeL.
The video is sloppy and unfocused. Yes, communism bad. We get that. Thanks loads.
Instead of another screed against communism, maybe Reason could have spent some time talking to people who could explain what Che represents to people, especially in Latin America, and why his image continues to carry a lot of power in that area of the world. I realize that that would involve actual…you know…journalism, but still.
MikeL’s assertion that the Che image is the left’s version of the Confederate flag is tremendously perceptive. In both cases, the history of bloodshed and oppression is ignored by the wearer who simply takes the symbol as “rebellion” and tosses away the rest of the meaning.
I think a lot of people who wear the Che and Mao gear KNOW what those men are guilty of and approve. For they too want to bring their own sort of order to the world, and if it means piles of bodies then they are willing to pay that cost.
What’s your point Chuchundra? You think the journalist needed to also make a jab at how many hispanics are ignorant/un-educated too? I’m pretty sure the point was:
Che = communism = evil = ANTI-freedom
No need to reiterate how many hispanics still think he’s some sort of hero. We already have the example in Hugo Chavez.
I think it’s unfair to say that Che shirters are supportive of mass murder. I think they are victims of viewing history from only ONE perspective. In their perspective Che is a “Revolutionary who fought the oppressive government to help the working class”. Even a libertarian can be compelled by some of that. Go watch the Motorcycle Diaries, and then this video. They fit together as a before and after of what can go wrong when good intensions go extreme.
Geoff: …what can go wrong when good intensions [sic] go extreme.
What good intentions? Theft starts with bad intentions. Since people don’t like to be deprived of their liberty or property, it is an obvious logical result that you will have to threaten and kill them to accomplish your theft.
Any self-described libertarian who is compelled “by some of that” is an idiot without the ability to think logically out of a wet paper bag, and without the basic understanding of history that a middle-school child should have.
Classic Goodwin’s law fail in the video. I do get the point, but all that took was 30sec with the artists. The highlighting of the plight of artists under communism through the interviews was good and worth the junk. Summary: I liked the two interviews, but the intervening screed was wasted.
As for Elliot (#17): Geoff (#15) is highlighting that Che’s original response was to the theft his people’s stuff by others – see his response to the US intervention and propanganda in Guatemala. The fact that he then picked up communism rather than libertarianism – both of which could have served his purpose for a revolution – is what you can put on his head. Bad ideological choice. Unethical solutions. Shitty teachers. That’s all on communism and Mr. Guevara. The initial reactions to the plight of people in the region and the need to do something, the choice to start doing something. At least somewhat admirable. It’s not like the region was full of thriving libertarian utopias at the time. Try fascist dictatorships, mostly owned by foreign multi-national conglomerates. The human need for freedom is one that makes it so easy to pick up the wrong tools in its name.
OK, so Che was bad. Granted. But are people just stupid, or is there a reason they think fondly of Che despite what he’s done? The video doesn’t give us any insight into why people still find Che an attractive symbol.
Let’s say somebody didn’t like Milton Friedman’s policies and economics, so they wrote a book in which they attributed everything they dislike about the current capitalist system to his influence. They even charge Friedman with the crimes of another dictator. Wouldn’t that be misleading, given that there were positive attributes to the work of Friedman’s life? Wouldn’t it be more helpful to illustrate the full context of his life’s work, instead of pigeonholing him into whatever the popular view is?
I’m not saying Friedman is a killer, and I’m not denying Che is. But the video begs the question instead of thoughtfully engaging it. I’m simply saying that libertarians can’t blame the left for propagandizing when they’re just as willing to do the same. And this just leads me to believe that Reason is another political mag far more interested in a particular cultural identity (libertarian chic? Gillespie just HAS to tell me where he gets those cool leather jackets.) than principle.
When you fly an American flag, do you thereby endorse every atrocity committed by the American government? Or are you using the symbol to make a statement about something more constrained? It would have been helpful to talk about what people might be trying to say by using such a complicated symbol.
And bringing Mao into the picture was clear overreach.
Che murdered people. He wanted to exterminate homosexuals. He jailed dissenters. He suppressed artists and musicians. He was a totalitarian. There’s nothing redemptive about him.
Milton Friedman didn’t kill anyone. He didn’t cavort with dictators. He advocated for personal and economic freedom. You can disagree with the policies he advocated, and whether they’re good for the world. But to compare him to Che is a libel.
Friedman did not kill anybody, but that wasn’t my point (perhaps I wasn’t clear). The point was about how the reduction of a figure to a simple judgment detracts from, rather than clarifies, the understanding at hand. Instead of trying to explain why normal people find Che a worthwhile figure, it simply begs the question (gee, aren’t people nuts!) in a way that doesn’t do anybody any good.