Chapter Seven – Love and Executions
Vanguards and Masses. Guevara thought that an educated group of people should lead the masses out of capitalism. As a materialist (see Basic Definitions of Marxian Concepts) he understood that consciousness is a result of the way we produce our lives. The vanguard, who sacrifices for the masses, listens, and synchs to their needs, embodies the new person that will be born out of socialism. This vanguard educates the masses into getting rid of individualism and working toward the common good.
Imperialism. Guevara elaborated theory and a course of action to defeat the US imperialism in the Americas. He was ultimately captured, tortured, and executed in Bolivia by a CIA organized operation with the Bolivian military. The forces of imperialism put an end to his body, but galvanized millions of youth around the Americas who took up his struggle against imperialism in the late sixties and seventies. To stop this thread to US commercial interests abroad, the US government supported military coups throughout the region to put down governments and social movements that constituted a threat to US imperial interests. Masses of people were exterminated.
Class. Guevara, like Marx, was not concerned with differences among people who work for the means of production (what sociologists call lower/working, middle, or upper classes) but with the ownership of the means of production. Cuba expropriated the means of production from their bourgeois, they were not aiming at equality among different kinds of workers, but rather at not having corporations that, in their view, expropriate the workers surplus value and use it against them through government, laws, state agencies, etc.