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Topic: Comparing Commandante Che and Pope Francis< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 18 2013, 4:48 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just occurred to me... Argentina has now given the world two leaders of stature -- both actually belonging to the same generation -- and both sharing the same common ideal of promoting justice for the poor and the downtrodden.  Indeed, Che and Jorge (pope Francis) were pretty close in age (born 1928 vs. 1936) and both studied at the University of Buenos Aires.

And yet, their methods for achieving justice were far different.  Both, of course, being imperfect as all humans and all human schemes are imperfect.

Che sought to revolutionize an entire social-economic system -- using all means, including militancy -- because he was convinced of the hopelessness of capitalism in ensuring justice for all.  In a way, he was right -- and esp. in view of the wide gap in Latin American between the have's and have not's.  Che started with quite the bang -- but his efforts were almost entirely unsuccessful.  Now reduced to mere caricature, given lip service, and endlessly exploited by the Castro regime -- which created an entire class of downtrodden all its own.

In contrast, Jorge sought to promote justice through personal example, teaching, preaching, exhortation.  A whisper instead of a bang -- and perhaps producing similarly lukewarm results?

IMO, human societies always reflect both the good and the bad in all of us.  Attempts to create "an ideal system with wealth and justice for all" actually go against the full grain of human nature -- and are actually worse than the disease(s) they strive to cure.

Leading by example can be fruitful here and there -- but it won't ever remove the bad half of our human nature either -- so it is never fully effective.

But between the two, I believe Jorge's is the better way.  In lieu of repudiating capitalism in its entirety to create an ideal society -- it is better to keep what we have -- but control it from excesses!  Similar to our own society here in America -- where capitalism is our economic cornerstone -- but we also have myriad  of regulations to keep it from morphing into "economic Darwinism".

In other words, "if" creating an ideal society only leads to failure (a glass near empty) -- then better to have an imperfect but generally workable and reformable capitalist society (a glass half full).

In any case, it's interesting to compare and contrast these two leaders, both "gifts" to the world from faraway Argentina.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 18 2013, 6:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I was indoctrinated growing up in America that socialism and communism were inherently bad, and anybody that believed otherwise was a bad person.  While I don't believe either would work in this country, I did get a different perspective when I spent three, (or so) months traveling in Central America back in 1980.

1980-ish was a hotbed for revolution in Central America.  I had trepidations about going there because of this, but ultimately my youthful enthusiasm won over and I went anyway.  I had the chance to meet many people from both sides of the revolutionary spectrum.  I quickly learned that it wasn't as simple as: capitalism=good and communism/socialism=bad.  

To the dirt-poor farmer in El Salvador, that could barely feed his family, the idea of capitalism represented a corrupt government and military.  He could be easily persuaded that socialism and the idea of greater equalities for all, was a good thing.  And under the circumstances, I could understand that completely.

All that aside, I'll happily stay with what we have.  
And I'll agree, I'll take Jorge's methods over Che's.

God Bless America!
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 18 2013, 7:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My experience was much like HBFA's and most Americans.

The best way Francis could help the poor would be to bring the Catholic Church into Modern Time.

Birth control has far more health benefits for women than just preventing contraception. And if children are gifts from god why can't we just receive the gift if and when we're ready to?

Over time we [the civilized community] have given up allowances in the Bible that haven't fit modern life. We don't condone mysoginy, we don't indulge slavery...we don't exercise lots of things that used to be taken for granted. Why a religion of purported love cannot embrace the 14th Ammendment here in this country after losing the fight against consenting adult homosexual respect in most other developed nations reeks of a childlike reluctance to embrace change for the better.

Most religions are inherently divisive. This Pope has the choice of whether to toe the line...or open the door to honest debate, and ultimate change. He can say he wants to help the poor all he wants. But of course actions ultimately speak far louder than words. If he really didn't help the famous Argentine Government with his silence than he sure as heck better not hesitate to call out the inexscuable actions of our Government, of Italy's, of all of them.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 18 2013, 10:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(hbfa @ Mar. 18 2013, 3:17 pm)
QUOTE
I was indoctrinated growing up in America that socialism and communism were inherently bad, and anybody that believed otherwise was a bad person.  While I don't believe either would work in this country, I did get a different perspective when I spent three, (or so) months traveling in Central America back in 1980.

1980-ish was a hotbed for revolution in Central America.  I had trepidations about going there because of this, but ultimately my youthful enthusiasm won over and I went anyway.  I had the chance to meet many people from both sides of the revolutionary spectrum.  I quickly learned that it wasn't as simple as: capitalism=good and communism/socialism=bad.  

To the dirt-poor farmer in El Salvador, that could barely feed his family, the idea of capitalism represented a corrupt government and military.  He could be easily persuaded that socialism and the idea of greater equalities for all, was a good thing.  And under the circumstances, I could understand that completely.

All that aside, I'll happily stay with what we have.  
And I'll agree, I'll take Jorge's methods over Che's.

God Bless America!

HBFA:

Our own government and media and society all talk a good talk about individuality -- the freedom and the right for each and every one of us to think through on our own, and act in accordance with our conscience.  But sadly, I also think that whenever there is pressure, our government, our media and our society quickly become much more focused on getting everyone on the same page!  And what better way to achieve that than presenting us with simple scenarios of good vs. evil -- with little or no distractions to "complicate" the situation?

Imagine if you hadn't the firsthand experience in Central America.  How would you know any different?  More likely, you will think in the same simple terms as the other 70% - 80% of fellow Americans who have never ventured beyond our national borders!

And the reverse is often true as well.  Imagine if Che had spent a year in the US -- and see how capitalism could  actually benefit a whopping majority of the population -- not all equally to be sure -- but beneficial nonetheless to almost everyone!


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 18 2013, 10:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(double cabin @ Mar. 18 2013, 4:22 pm)
QUOTE
My experience was much like HBFA's and most Americans.

The best way Francis could help the poor would be to bring the Catholic Church into Modern Time.

Birth control has far more health benefits for women than just preventing contraception. And if children are gifts from god why can't we just receive the gift if and when we're ready to?

Over time we [the civilized community] have given up allowances in the Bible that haven't fit modern life. We don't condone mysoginy, we don't indulge slavery...we don't exercise lots of things that used to be taken for granted. Why a religion of purported love cannot embrace the 14th Ammendment here in this country after losing the fight against consenting adult homosexual respect in most other developed nations reeks of a childlike reluctance to embrace change for the better.

Most religions are inherently divisive. This Pope has the choice of whether to toe the line...or open the door to honest debate, and ultimate change. He can say he wants to help the poor all he wants. But of course actions ultimately speak far louder than words. If he really didn't help the famous Argentine Government with his silence than he sure as heck better not hesitate to call out the inexscuable actions of our Government, of Italy's, of all of them.

I think pretty much any philosophy, religion, political and economic system, etc. can be harnessed for the greater good -- and also be exploited and 'weaponized' as well!!

You wrote much about religion.  Without minimizing any of it... I think I can match religious hijacking and exploitation with political/secular hijacking and exploitation.  In the name of defending freedom and democracy -- our own secular political leadership exploited our collective fear (and ignorance) to attempt control of and influence in the Middle East -- namely Iraq but also Afghanistan -- and with an eye toward Iran.  A recent report mentioned 190,000 deaths in Iraq alone, as a direct and indirect result!!

I embrace the Catholic Church.  You and I both embrace the ideals and spirit of our State.  But I think we (and everyone else) always need to remain vigilant while we embrace -- be it the religious or the secular.

Back to Che and Pope Francis.  I admire both of them for devoting their lives to achieving their ideals -- and ideals that are far beyond just looking after the self.  Sadly, Che failed in creating and harnessing a political system that could bring justice to all.  Now we see how Jorge can harness the power of religion to bring more justice to more people.  A tall order, even for a pope.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 18 2013, 11:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(hbfa @ Mar. 18 2013, 6:17 pm)
QUOTE
I was indoctrinated growing up in America that socialism and communism were inherently bad, and anybody that believed otherwise was a bad person.  While I don't believe either would work in this country, I did get a different perspective when I spent three, (or so) months traveling in Central America back in 1980.

1980-ish was a hotbed for revolution in Central America.  I had trepidations about going there because of this, but ultimately my youthful enthusiasm won over and I went anyway.  I had the chance to meet many people from both sides of the revolutionary spectrum.  I quickly learned that it wasn't as simple as: capitalism=good and communism/socialism=bad.  

To the dirt-poor farmer in El Salvador, that could barely feed his family, the idea of capitalism represented a corrupt government and military.  He could be easily persuaded that socialism and the idea of greater equalities for all, was a good thing.  And under the circumstances, I could understand that completely.

All that aside, I'll happily stay with what we have.  
And I'll agree, I'll take Jorge's methods over Che's.

God Bless America!

Yes but the problems you sight in Latin America were largely the US's making, so you can stick with that.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 18 2013, 11:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Monte:

My own view...  while I agree that the giant neighbor to the North welded enormous political and economic influence over all of Latin America -- and the same giant did regularly abuse its power and influence -- I also believe that most countries are the masters of their own fates in the overall scheme of things.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 18 2013, 11:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Montecresto @ Mar. 18 2013, 8:05 pm)
QUOTE

(hbfa @ Mar. 18 2013, 6:17 pm)
QUOTE
I was indoctrinated growing up in America that socialism and communism were inherently bad, and anybody that believed otherwise was a bad person.  While I don't believe either would work in this country, I did get a different perspective when I spent three, (or so) months traveling in Central America back in 1980.

1980-ish was a hotbed for revolution in central America.  I had trepidations about going there because of this, but ultimately my youthful enthusiasm won over and I went anyway.  I had the chance to meet many people from both sides of the revolutionary spectrum.  I quickly learned that it wasn't as simple as: capitalism=good and communism/socialism=bad.  

To the dirt-poor farmer in El Salvador, that could barely feed his family, the idea of capitalism represented a corrupt government and military.  He could be easily persuaded that socialism and the idea of greater equalities for all, was a good thing.  And under the circumstances, I could understand that completely.

All that aside, I'll happily stay with what we have.  
And I'll agree, I'll take Jorge's methods over Che's.

God Bless America!

Yes but the problems you sight in Latin America were largely the US's making, so you can stick with that.

We have certainly supported some violent and corrupt regimes in Latin America.  In some cases they were viewed as the lesser of two evils.  That could certainly be debated with the benefit of hindsight.

But IMO, we are not responsible for the various levels of corruption that exist in many Latin American countries, even those we have intervened in.  The lack of effective governments, the lack of education and the accompanying economic disparities set the stage for corruption.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 18 2013, 11:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks Ben. The CIA toppled at least 6 democratically elected governments in Latin America and replaced them with dictators that brutally abused their citizens. Was that the masters of their own fates working for those that were oppressed, murdered and straiffed?

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 18 2013, 11:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(hbfa @ Mar. 18 2013, 11:23 pm)
QUOTE

(Montecresto @ Mar. 18 2013, 8:05 pm)
QUOTE

(hbfa @ Mar. 18 2013, 6:17 pm)
QUOTE
I was indoctrinated growing up in America that socialism and communism were inherently bad, and anybody that believed otherwise was a bad person.  While I don't believe either would work in this country, I did get a different perspective when I spent three, (or so) months traveling in Central America back in 1980.

1980-ish was a hotbed for revolution in Latin America.  I had trepidations about going there because of this, but ultimately my youthful enthusiasm won over and I went anyway.  I had the chance to meet many people from both sides of the revolutionary spectrum.  I quickly learned that it wasn't as simple as: capitalism=good and communism/socialism=bad.  

To the dirt-poor farmer in El Salvador, that could barely feed his family, the idea of capitalism represented a corrupt government and military.  He could be easily persuaded that socialism and the idea of greater equalities for all, was a good thing.  And under the circumstances, I could understand that completely.

All that aside, I'll happily stay with what we have.  
And I'll agree, I'll take Jorge's methods over Che's.

God Bless America!

Yes but the problems you sight in Latin America were largely the US's making, so you can stick with that.

We have certainly supported some violent and corrupt regimes in Central America.  In some cases they were viewed as the lesser of two evils.  That could certainly be debated with the benefit of hindsight.

But IMO, we are not responsible for the various levels of corruption that exist in many Latin American countries, even those we have intervened in.  The lack of effective governments, the lack of education and the accompanying economic disparities set the stage for corruption.

Wait a minute, has the timeline of CIA atrocities in Latin America escaped you? And, are you unaware of US corporations throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries exploitation of their natural resources?

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 18 2013, 11:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Wtf! Does anybody pay any attention to the US' menacing of the world. Or does everybody STILL think the US is the shinning city on the hill. Really people, will it ever be time to wake up and demand some respect for the rest of the world, or are ya'all going to continue with the same meme, the US is all that and a bag of chips?

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 18 2013, 11:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Montecresto @ Mar. 18 2013, 8:23 pm)
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Thanks Ben. The CIA toppled at least 6 democratically elected governments in Latin America and replaced them with dictators that brutally abused their citizens. Was that the masters of their own fates working for those that were oppressed, murdered and straiffed?

Not to excuse the CIA (and thus the USA) -- but a house falls more often due to inept domestic leadership and / or domestic disunity.

I think Mali is the most recent example.  It's a poor country, but its leaders could have worked together.  Instead, some chose to engineer a coup -- and opened themselves up to Al Qaeda advances -- and then to French intervention.  Many here and in Mali appreciated the French for saving the current coup leader rather than letting Al Qaeda take over.  Regardless, there is no denying that an ex. colony's complete helplessness is once again exposed for all to see -- and this after decades of independence!

In contrast, for all its many faults -- China seems pretty immune to any CIA 'regime change' routine.  Or even North Korea (a hideous example, I know, but a good illustration nevertheless of leadership unity preventing any CIA shenanigans).


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 19 2013, 12:08 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Ben2World @ Mar. 18 2013, 11:43 pm)
QUOTE

(Montecresto @ Mar. 18 2013, 8:23 pm)
QUOTE
Thanks Ben. The CIA toppled at least 6 democratically elected governments in Latin America and replaced them with dictators that brutally abused their citizens. Was that the masters of their own fates working for those that were oppressed, murdered and straiffed?

Not to excuse the CIA (and thus the USA) -- but a house falls more often due to inept domestic leadership and / or domestic disunity.

I think Mali is the most recent example.  It's a poor country, but its leaders could have worked together.  Instead, some chose to engineer a coup -- and opened themselves up to Al Qaeda advances -- and then to French intervention.  Many here and in Mali appreciated the French for saving the current coup leader rather than letting Al Qaeda take over.  Regardless, there is no denying that an ex. colony's complete helplessness is once again exposed for all to see -- and this after decades of independence!

In contrast, for all its many faults -- you just don't see the CIA successfully engineering a regime change in China.  Or even North Korea (a hideous example, I know, but a good illustration nevertheless of leadership unity preventing any CIA shenanigans).

Its not for the lack of trying.

We tried that once in 1950 during the Korean War but the Chinese handed our asses to us when they sent 100 divisions across the Yalu River and we ran back to the 38th. parallel.

As far as China goes, we did everything and the kitchen sink to get Mao out and put in the corrupt Chiang Kai-Shek in after ww2 and failed. The remnants of his cronies are on Taiwan.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 19 2013, 1:03 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Buggyboo @ Mar. 18 2013, 9:08 pm)
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Its not for the lack of trying... The remnants of his cronies are on Taiwan.

True that.  Although the remnants (and the people) in Taiwan did a pretty good job turning what was left of the Republic of China  from a dictatorship into a vibrant democracy!  The same could be said of South Korea.  But not the defunct Republic of South Vietnam.  Again, I think much depends on local leadership and determination.

But I digress...


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 19 2013, 8:44 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Ben2World @ Mar. 18 2013, 11:43 pm)
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(Montecresto @ Mar. 18 2013, 8:23 pm)
QUOTE
Thanks Ben. The CIA toppled at least 6 democratically elected governments in Latin America and replaced them with dictators that brutally abused their citizens. Was that the masters of their own fates working for those that were oppressed, murdered and straiffed?

Not to excuse the CIA (and thus the USA) -- but a house falls more often due to inept domestic leadership and / or domestic disunity.

I think Mali is the most recent example.  It's a poor country, but its leaders could have worked together.  Instead, some chose to engineer a coup -- and opened themselves up to Al Qaeda advances -- and then to French intervention.  Many here and in Mali appreciated the French for saving the current coup leader rather than letting Al Qaeda take over.  Regardless, there is no denying that an ex. colony's complete helplessness is once again exposed for all to see -- and this after decades of independence!

In contrast, for all its many faults -- China seems pretty immune to any CIA 'regime change' routine.  Or even North Korea (a hideous example, I know, but a good illustration nevertheless of leadership unity preventing any CIA shenanigans).

Well, not that I can even disagree with any of that. You have pointed to some exceptions. But if "local leadership" is having difficulties, wouldn't it be nice if the US government really helped in every way to iron out the trouble, rather than exploiting it for their own "interests"?

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