08 June 2008

Communism Inc. A study in Irony

Ernesto was a doctor. One day he took off on his motorbike and travelled across South America. The journey gave him his 'Buddha' moment. Like the truth dawned upon Prince Gautam, transforming him into the Buddha, Ernesto's realization that 'government' is a cuss word transformed him into Che. Che Guevara, Guerrillero Heroico. Fidel Castro's main man, Che was killed in a CIA sponsored attack in 1967, much before this latest incarnation of Prometheus.

Some say he was a tyrant and some call him the Butcher of La Cabana. Some like Jean Paul Sartre called him 'not only an intellectual, but the most complete man of our age'. Nelson Mandela called him a champion of freedom. Che was a voracious reader, reading the works of greats as diverse as Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, H.G. Wells, Jawaharlal Nehru, Jean Paul Sartre, Franz Kafka, Nietzsche, Aristotle, Budhha, Jack London, Freud, Kipling and Keats. Che lived for the Revolucion. So much that when he was about to be executed and asked whether he was thinking about his immortality, he replied that he was thinking of the immortality of the revolution and that his executioner would but kill a man, not his thought.

What is Prometheus' connection with Che? Prometheus is even less communist than Dubya. So what gives?

Prometheus saw a cool dude on the street today. Dude (pronounced d-oo-d) was armed with an iPhone, an iPod, Oakly eyewear, RBK shoes, the US flag in a bandana form. And Che on his tee shirt. That most famous photograph of Che, taken by Alberto Korda and titled Guerrillero Heroico. That star on the beret, that intense look, the intelligence in the eyes, that resolve on the face.

And Prometheus was again reminded of the greatest monument to Irony. The man who called capitalism 'a contest among wolves', being used by capitalists to shift everything 'from t-shirts to coffee mugs and even bikinis'.

Prometheus' brush with governments has not made him militant. But the left-leaning ideology of India and its failures does make him tend to veer away from socialism. In one of his travels across India, Prometheus met a semi-militant revivalist. Though Prometheus disagreed with some this man's ideas, he remembers something that was till then never so succinctly stated. "The Bureaucracy was installed by the Colonial rulers to serve their interest and to oppress the natives. The Hand that Rules has changed from White to Brown, but the Machine was made for the purpose of oppression and oppress it still does. Changing the hand cannot change the function of the machine." The other monument to Irony. The Socialist, Secular Republic of the people, by the people and for the people.



SilverSabre said...

You are back :)

I'm so happy :)

Lizza said...

I may not agree with his methodologies, but I can understand the philosophy behind them.

Che bikinis? Really? Hahaaaa