Political Opinions#65:The Paradox of Che Guevara Merchandising


It is well known that Che Guevara made his mark on history through his cut-throat promotion and proliferation of Marxism. The above statement maybe a slight understatement considering the number of blood drenched coup d’e’-tat campaigns he participated in. The most noteworthy being the campaign in Cuba where Fidel Castro was installed in power.


Che’s reputation has been romanticized to the extent that he has morphed into a mythic folk hero of all aspiring left-wing socialists. However, when you actually examine the ethics of his deportment and battlefield decorum is reprehensible at best. Then again placing decorum and battlefield in the same sentence is supremely oxymoronic. I would guarantee he probably violated the terms of the Geneva Convention on several occasions. When confronted with historical facts even the most fervent defenders  of Che would have to admit that it has sullied his legacy.


Then again individuals like myself, whom don’t find any redeeming value on the purported ethos of Marxism would say he never did have a sincere legacy.


It is quite evident how easily an individual can be seduced by the false promises of Marxism along with all other forms of socialism. The prime issue with socialism it that is basis has always been speculative. Theoretical.  All application political realities have been abject failures. Dismal prospects , with dismal results. Clearly demonstrating the folly of planned economies and the supremacy of private enterprise in regards to distribution of resources.

The irony truly being that socialism seeks to control the means of product due to the fallacies of human nature. In theory it’s application is utilized to circumvent exploitation of the work force and to combat avarice. The find of callous greed that left-wing socialists erroneously characterized with entrepreneurship. Often times there is in congruency between narrative and reality.  It should be noted the core tenets of socialist policy suffers from the Hobbesian trap. In actual application socialism suffers from the vice of human nature. As such centralized governmental control is exploited by the predation of bureaucrats. Hardly the manifestation of egalitarian paradise.

The justification for government intervention in economic matters is almost paradoxical. If we cannot trust the integrity of human nature regarding economic exchange, then we cannot trust man to interpret and apply law. Who is to say that the bureaucrat will not misapply or misinterpret law for their own gain. Trusting man to justly apply law covertly requires as much faith as allowing the invisible hand to word in accordance with natural law. State sanctioned law is contrived, implemented, and managed by man. Is subject to the same inherent flaws, just individuals are prone to strive for one-side outcomes. Some of this maybe due to the impersonal nature of government managed allocation of resources. Regardless, it becomes a zero-sum exchange rather than mutually beneficial. As all honest exchanges in privatized trade.

Equally as puzzling as previously detailed inconsistency is the lack of congruency regarding Marxists and economic exchange. The most striking example being the merchandising of apparel and other goods with the likeness of the Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara. A figure in political works history that spilled blood in the name of an ideology that dismissed and reviled commerce. A political philosophy that perceived honest private trade as zero-sum. A belief system that asserts in order for trade to occur exploitation is a requirement.

I would surmise that the estate of Che Guevara did not necessarily consent to the use of his image in wallets, mugs, etc. So the incongruence (if his estate doesn’t receive royalties) doesn’t come from that direction.  The merchant and manufacture of such goods in theory are absolved  of hypocrisy. Such individuals are merely meeting the demand of their consumer base. If there was not a demand for such merchandise it would not be produced. Rather it is the customer that is guilty of violating ideological consistency.


Any individual that proclaims to be influenced by or a disciple of Che must invariably reject capitalism. This also includes the exchange of goods, whether they are the merchant or client. As mentioned previously in honest trade both parties benefit from the exchange. In the instance of the purchase of a Che t-shirt the consumer benefits by obtaining the desired  good.  The paradox being the desired commodity pays tribute to an individual who railed against the economic system that made it possible to make such a product available. One can only assume that the purchaser rejects  capitalism. Yet, they still pay a vital role in facilitating a capitalistic  transaction. The question becomes  how do you reconcile the cognitive dissonance between purported belief and action?

Many  stern critics of capitalism fall into this very same trap. It is one thing to prefer intermediate adjustments that manage how capitalistic exchange is managed.  Generally manifested through the implementation of policies that are congruent with a mixed-economy.  While not preferable, at least I can understand that individual would not completely abstain from such a transaction. However, an individual claiming to be fundamentally opposed to capitalism participating as an active consumer is simply illogical. By virtue of their own prescriptions they are culpable by perpetuating and supporting an exploitative economic patterns.

The true irony is many ivory tower defenders of socialism are then prime beneficiaries if it’s spoils. Most of them own iPhones and imbibe lattes from the multinational giant Starbucks. Clearly many proponents of socialism clearly have some profound inconstancies regarding their views capitalism. The byproducts are okay if they benefit them, however, the actual process of distribution and manufacturing goods under such a system is morally suspect.


Beyond the previous point a lot of significant and compelling critics of capitalism are the intellectuals in academia. The majority of the intellgencia work as college professors. Even though public institutions of higher learning are subsidized by tax dollars , they are still primarily funded by tuition dollars. In other words the students, who act as the consumers by purchasing their education and training. This is from standpoint of simplification, for this example I am excluding the complexities of students who pay attend college with government loans and scholarships. The mixture of sources of funding perfect exemplifies the realities of living in a society that has a third-way mixed economy. Either way, regardless of whether an academic is employed by a private or public college they still rely on some intersection of the private sector for their income. To some extent makes advocating for complete socialism irrational.However, while erroneous and misguided  it would be congruent for an instructor at a public college to advocate for a mixed economy.



The lack  of consistency among advocates of socialism is quite salient to pro-market advocates. If such individuals were truly concerned with the welfare of the economically disadvantaged they would donate the majority of their disposable income to well managed private charities. Versus indulging in the comforts and pleasures made possible due to capitalism. Granted mixed-economy capitalism, nevertheless capitalism. I will address the issues associated with mixed economies versus purer forms of capitalism in future writing.

Any individual who purchases a Che Guevara  hoodie and proliferated and uncompromising form of his doctrines are in self-contradiction.  To utilize logically fallacies in a feeble attempt to justify this paradox in thinking and action is beyond spurious.  It demonstrates a profound immaturity in reasoning, which can have severe ramifications if reflected in political policy. However, much of this confused and transposed reasoning does dovetail perfectly with the moral and logical development of adolescence. Which is when idealism tends to be at its apogee. Hence why so many college freshmen find the spurious illusions of socialism’s proposed paradise to be so alluring.






Author: invertedlogicblog

In pursuit of liberty, philosophical thought, and Austrian Economics.

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