- Birthday, Politics, Quotes, Reading, Writing

Che Guevara on Love, Injustice, Revolution, and Socialism.

 

Happy birthday, Che Guevara! Here some quotes from the revolutionary.

 

“I have lived magnificent days.”

 

“If you tremble with indignation at every injustice, then you are a comrade of mine.”

 

“Reading should be encouraged at all times…”

 

“I am not a liberator. Liberators do not exist. It exists when people liberate themselves.”

 

“Silence is argument carried out by other means.”

 

“Cruel leaders are replaced only to have new leaders turn cruel!”

 

“The life of a single human being is worth a million times more than all the property of the richest man on earth.”

 

“Our enemy, and the enemy of all America, is the monopolistic government of the United States of America.”

 

“When the forces of oppression come to maintain themselves in power against established law; peace is considered already broken.”

 

“Much more definitive and much more lasting than all the gold that one can accumulate is the gratitude of a people.”

 

“I knew that the moment the great governing spirit strikes the blow to divide all humanity into just two opposing factions, I would be on the side of the common people.”

 

“Democracy cannot consist solely of elections that are nearly always fictitious and managed by rich landowners and professional politicians.”

 

“The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall.”

 

“The feeling of revolt will grow stronger every day among the peoples subjected to various degrees of exploitation, and they will take up arms to gain by force the rights which reason alone has not won them.”

 

“Now is the time to throw off the yoke, to force renegotiation of oppressive foreign debts, and to force the imperialists to abandon their bases of aggression.”

 

“Words that do not match deeds are unimportant.”

 

“There are no borders in this struggle to the death.”

 

“One has to grow hard but without ever losing tenderness.”

 

“Those who kill their own children and discriminate daily against them because of the color of their skin; those who let the murderers of blacks remain free, protecting them, and furthermore punishing the black population because they demand their legitimate rights as free people—how can those who do this consider themselves guardians of freedom? The government of the United States is not the champion of freedom, but rather the perpetrator of exploitation and oppression against the peoples of the world and against a large part of its own population.”

 

“Ever since monopoly capital took over the world, it has kept the greater part of humanity in poverty, dividing all the profits among the group of the most powerful countries. The standard of living in those countries is based on the extreme poverty of our countries. To raise the living standards of the underdeveloped nations, therefore, we must fight against imperialism. And each time a country is torn away from the imperialist tree, it is not only a partial battle won against the main enemy but it also contributes to the real weakening of that enemy, and is one more step toward the final victory.”

 

“We must bear in mind that imperialism is a world system, the last stage of capitalism—and it must be defeated in a world confrontation. The strategic end of this struggle should be the destruction of imperialism. Our share, the responsibility of the exploited and underdeveloped of the world is to eliminate the foundations of imperialism: our oppressed nations, from where they extract capitals, raw materials, technicians and cheap labor, and to which they export new capitals—instruments of domination—arms and all kinds of articles; thus submerging us in an absolute dependence.”

 

“The myth of the self-made man, has to be profoundly hypocritical: it is the self-serving demonstration that a lie is the truth.”

 

“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 […] 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.”

 

“The ultimate and most important revolutionary aspiration: to see human beings liberated from their alienation.”

 

“Above all, try always to be able to feel deeply any injustice committed against any person in any part of the world. It is the most beautiful quality of a revolutionary.”

 

“Our every action is a battle cry against imperialism, and a battle hymn for the people’s unity against the great enemy of mankind: the United States of America.”

 

“What are our primary goals? Our greatest goals? The great lines we must follow? From the political point of view, the first thing we want is to be masters of our own destiny, a country free from foreign interference, a country that seeks out its own system of development.”

 

“I am not interested in dry economic socialism. We are fighting against misery, but we are also fighting against alienation.”

 

“Socialism cannot exist without a change in consciousness resulting in a new fraternal attitude toward humanity, both at an individual level, within the societies where socialism is being built or has been built, and on a world scale, with regard to all peoples suffering from imperialist oppression.”

 

“For us there is no valid definition of socialism other than the abolition of the exploitation of one human being by another. As long as this has not been achieved, if we think we are in the stage of building socialism but instead of ending exploitation the work of suppressing it comes to a halt—or worse, is reversed—then we cannot even speak of building socialism.”

 

“The university cannot be an ivory tower, far away from the society, removed from the practical accomplishments of the Revolution. If such an attitude is maintained, the university will continue giving our society lawyers that we do not need.”

 

“The desire to sacrifice an entire lifetime to the noblest of ideals serves no purpose if one works alone.”

 

“In the future individualism ought to be the efficient utilization of the whole individual for the absolute benefit of a collectivity.”

 

“In order to change a way of thinking, it is necessary to undergo profound internal changes and to witness profound external changes, especially in the performance of our duties and obligations to society.”

 

“Many will call me an adventurer, and that I am…only one of a different sort: one who risks his skin to prove his truths.”

 

“The beginnings will not be easy; they shall be extremely difficult.”

 

“The road is long and full of difficulties.”

 

John Madera's fiction may be found in Conjunctions, Opium Magazine, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His criticism may be found in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, John Madera lives in New York City, where he runs Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.

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