In, well, "defense" of Che
Radical chic is underfire again. This past weekend, Humberto Fontova, author most recently of Fidel:
“Did you catch Carlos Santana’s grand entrance at the Oscars?
“Well, the famed guitarist couldn’t contain himself. He stopped for the photographers, smiled deliriously and swung his jacket open. TA-DA! There it was: Carlos’ elegantly embroidered Che Guevara t-shirt. Carlos’ face as the flashbulbs popped said it all. ‘I’m so COOL!’ he beamed. ‘I’m so HIP! I’m so CHEEKY! So SHARP! So TUNED IN!’
“Tune in to this, Carlos: in the mid 1960’s Fidel and your charming t-shirt icon set up concentration camps in
for, among many others, ‘anti-social elements’ and ‘delinquents.’ Besides Bohemian ( Cuba Haight-Ashbury, Greenwich Villagetypes) and homosexuals, these camps were crammed with ‘roqueros,’ who qualified in Che and Fidel’s eyes as useless ‘delinquents.’
“A ‘roquero’ was a hapless youth who tried to listen to Yankee-Imperialist rock music in
Put more bluntly, Carlos Santana’s chic t-shirt on Oscar night displayed the symbol of a regime that made it criminal to listen to Santana’s music!
Che Guevara was killed in
Shortly after Che’s death, the great Murray Rothbard posed that very question in an editorial written for the journal Left and Right. “How come?” wrote
So what is it? Answered
“What made Che such an heroic figure for our time is that he, more than any man of our epoch or even of our century, was the living embodiment of the principle of Revolution. More than any man since the lovable but entirely ineffectual nineteenth-century Russian anarchist, Mikhail Bakunin, Che earned the title of ‘professional revolutionary.’ And furthermore, to paraphrase Christopher Jencks in a recent perceptive, if wrongheaded, article in the New Republic, we all knew that his enemy was our enemy — that great Colossus that oppresses and threatens all the peoples of the world, U.S. imperialism.”
It represents a revolutionary spirit.