Monday, February 06, 2006

'Scientific researcher'

Che was a doctor, which is important to understanding the beginning part of this quote from Jon Lee Anderson:
But treating individuals' illnesses had never been his real interest; his motivation had always been that of the scientific researcher looking for a cure, a means to prevent; and, as it had been with medicine, so it had become with politics. Searching, crossing solutions off the list of possibilities, as he went -- "reformism, democracy, elections" -- he had found Marx, then Guatemala, then Cuba, and in that baptism of fire, his discovery of "empirical medicine" had led to "scientific truth." That truth, and the cure to man's ills, was Marxism-Leninism, and guerilla warfare was the means to achieve it.
At first, I was admiring Che's post-revolution austerity -- his refusal to draw a large pay check in his ministry positions, his refusal of special treatment for himself and his underlings -- because if he was asking people to live a hard life for the revolution, at least he wasn't asking anyone to do anything he wouldn't. But I'm beginning to think that it was all a show, as though he's living such a modest life that modesty has become a point of pride.

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