Friday, September 23, 2005

The Motorcycle Diaries

Ernesto Che Guevara dela Serna epitomized everything that a Marxist revolutionary guerilla should ever be. His life inspired a generation of youth political activists to struggle for socialism in all continents especially those in the Third World. As with every individual who chooses to live the simple life and that of hard struggle comes the awakening of the self on the social contradictions plaguing each person’s social milieu. For Che Guevara, it was the long motorcycle ride with his friend that exposed right before his very eyes the shattering poverty in the entire of Latin America, the exploitation of the majority in a land of plenty and the need for decisive change to overturn a rotting social order.

Che Guevara lived the petty-bourgeois life before the ride. He went to medical school with a promising career soon after in Buenos Aires. His family was well-off, though not that rich, but was in the upper middle income bracket in an Argentina where most of its citizens were not enjoying the fruits of its rich natural resources. But Che turned his back from that splendid life and instead chose to live the austere life of serving the masses.

His road trip proved much to Che as it showed how social contradictions are not unique to one country alone but to an entirety of nations struggling against imperialism, among others that kept them unwashed and desolated. It showed Comandante the spirit of genuine internationalism – that one must not rest even if the revolution at home has been won, as many others await their own emancipation. This perhaps inspired Che to be the most famous Marxist globe-trotter in history. After the helping the Cuban Revolution, he left his plush Cuban Central bank Office to assist and train Marxist revolutionaries in the Congo and Bolivia, where he met his untimely death.

Over and above anything else, the challenge posed by Che’s life is for the youth to be able to discover their role in the liberation of society from the present social ills that keep the masses poor, hungry and broken. His image has been plastered in shirts, mugs and caps of the youth without them knowing who Che really was and what it was that he fought, lived and died for. He is more than an immortal cultural icon which generations of youth use to symbolize their rebellion against the norms of society. More than that, Che is a political icon of the masses and youth of the world struggling for a better world in an era of unbridled globalization.

The movie serves to show the first steps of a life well lived in the service of the people and against all that threatens to enslave, oppress and exploit them. As he drove his motorcycle across the fields of the campesinos and mingled with the Latin American minorities, it was there where he found where all his energies should be placed and for whom he should devote his life for.

The Motorcycle Diaries inspires but at the same time asks the youth to make a choice – to take the easier path of illustrious careers or take the road less traveled by living in solidarity with the masses. Che Guevara made the first step towards the latter in those fateful days by getting out of his comfort zones and entering the lives of classes of people which were never his own. If such is how the youth lives their life today, then the hopes and aspirations of a struggling people will never be in vain.

nice movie tol! ian
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