Confession: I have an ideological crush on Ché Guevara. You may know him as the face plastered on the tees of young anarchists today or perhaps as the man who used to be second in command to Fidel Castro in Cuba. He was an instrumental part of the Cuban Revolution and a pivotal part of many other South American revolutions.
Aside from the obvious handsome factor, I simply love that he saw injustice, corrupt dictatorships and poverty; and he acted. He couldn’t be persuaded to return to Argentina and be a doctor. He wanted to see change.
There are obvious questions to be raised about his approach – not least his appropriation of arms in his battle against capitalism. In the end, his turn towards violent revolution led to his name being added to the CIA’s ‘most wanted’ list, and his assassination in 1967 in Bolivia. Things didn’t end so well for him.
My whole life I have wanted to be a revolutionary. I’m not happy to sit back and watch the world go by. I want to be involved, to have a say, to see things I hate, and to invoke change. It’s why I sign petitions. It’s why I attend protests and rallies. It’s why I read the paper and write letters to the editor. But I never feel like I do enough.
I read about child labour in sweatshops but I still buy cheap clothes. The revolutionary in me wants to jump on a plane and overthrow those who run sweatshops.
I watch as our government introduces an unjust and illegal policy for asylum seekers and write a letter to the editor and a few blogs. I go to a few protests. The revolutionary in me wants to camp outside government house til they change the policy.
I see children exposed to pornography on the internet in the name of free speech and grieve the loss of innocence. I do nothing. The revolutionary in me wants to find a way to boycott those websites that are so wicked.
I do less than I’d like because I like my life. I don’t want to lose my freedoms and my upper-middle class privileges. Revolutionaries don’t think about their own life. They think about others. They are visionaries and picture not what is, but what could be.
I hate guns and don’t at all advocate Ché’s use of them. But still, I want to be a revolutionary. I want to work for change. I want to imagine a better world. Do you?