David Thompson
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April 03, 2012

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svh

Che was ruthless and fanatical and sometimes murderous. But was he a murderer?

Er, yes. He was a murderous murderer who murdered people for kicks. Smart guy this McManus.

Mr Eugenides

"one of those rare people who are prepared to push past ethical constraints".

Whether morally justifiable or not, there is something admirable in writing which can brush aside mass murder as delicately as one might flick dust off a butterfly's wings.

David

In the Reason comments, Mr McManus is called an “asswipe” and a “moral degenerate.” A couple of commenters wonder how he would feel about being subject to the same “admirable” standard of behaviour that he coos about in his article. Say, if faced with someone heroic enough to “push past ethical constraints” and shoot him for amusement or to alleviate boredom.

Mr McManus is now tweeting his distress at these unkind words. People can be so beastly.

Simen Thoresen

The actual piece by McManus at the Inedependent, http://www.independent.ie/lifestyle/hes-the-face-that-launched-a-thousand-tshirts-but-was-che-a-villain-or-a-hero-3045756.html , has a number of other golden quotes as well.

It's about breaking the necessary eggs, and if you first have to do something, what's wrong about enjoying it?

Thank you for making my Easter better, David.

-S

Andym

Moral bankruptcy personified

rjmadden

Che's allure is incredibly potent. He's still seen by millions as a symbol of hope, a voice for the powerless, a brave and compassionate warrior-poet who gave his life for the people.

Only by idiots who don't know the first thing about him. That's the problem, Mr McManus.

sackcloth and ashes

'Yes, Pinochet was ruthless and fanatical and sometimes murderous. But was he a murderer? No, not in the sense of a serial killer or gangland assassin. He was one of those rare people who are prepared to push past ethical constraints, even their own conscience, and bring about a greater good by doing terrible things. Whether morally justifiable or not, there is something admirable in that - pure principle in a world of shabby compromise'.

Imagine how apeshit the Guardianistas would go if that appeared in the 'Daily Telegraph'.

McManus' vile comments remind me of apologias for Joe Stalin sixty years ago. 'Yes, he did kill a lot of people, but he made the USSR a superpower.' What an utter wanker he is.

Mr Eugenides

In fact, we could have all sorts of fun applying this formulation to other situations.


"Jeffrey Archer was one of those rare people who are prepared to push past ethical constraints…"

"Johann Hari is one of those rare people who are prepared to push past journalistic constraints…"

Hours of fun.

Anna

He was one of those rare people who are prepared to push past ethical constraints,

The hilarious thing is he thinks these people are rare.

David

“The hilarious thing is he thinks these people are rare.”

Well, I suppose murderous sociopaths are relatively uncommon, at least outside of prisons and high-security mental hospitals.

On the upside, Mr McManus was deeply moved by the Twilight films: “The Twilight movies really affected me, emotionally. With their sustained tone of melancholy and reverie, they opened up a door to my youth. Somewhere within this fantastical tale of vampires and werewolves, I found a core truth about what it means to be human – and a reminder of what I used to be like.”

So there’s that.

Horace Dunn

"When we're younger, it chimes with our fundamental need to rebel, as we age, it indulges our nostalgia and angst by reminding us of a time when we, too, were (we imagine) cool and idealistic".

What a sad man.

Mr Eugenides

"Edward was one of those rare people who are prepared to push past carotid constraints…"

ErisGuy

He was one of those rare people who are prepared to push past ethical constraints, even their own conscience, and bring about a greater good by doing terrible things

This was the Nazi's view of themselves.

Tom Foster

Sackcloth,

"McManus' vile comments remind me of apologias for Joe Stalin sixty years ago. 'Yes, he did kill a lot of people, but he made the USSR a superpower.'"

Never mind 60 years ago – Seamus Milne is still at it:

'For all its brutalities and failures, communism in the Soviet Union, eastern Europe and elsewhere delivered rapid industrialisation, mass education, job security and huge advances in social and gender equality. It encompassed genuine idealism and commitment, captured even by critical films and books of the post-Stalin era such as Wajda's Man of Marble and Rybakov's Children of the Arbat. Its existence helped to drive up welfare standards in the west, boosted the anticolonial movement and provided a powerful counterweight to western global domination.'

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,,1710891,00.html

AC1

My Article started similarly

Yes, Breivik was ruthless and fanatical and sometimes murderous. But was he a murderer? No, not in the sense of a serial killer or gangland assassin. He was one of those rare people who are prepared to push past ethical constraints, even their own conscience, and bring about a greater good by doing terrible things. Whether morally justifiable or not, there is something admirable in that - pure principle in a world of shabby compromise. Maybe this is why Breivik remains such an icon, both in image and idea.


But didn't get published...

:(...

sackcloth and ashes

@ Tom Foster

I have read Milne's article, which basically makes him the moral equivalent of David Irving in my book. Aside from that, I find it farcical that he's citing the works of Andrzej Wajda as some form of cultural justification of communism (in 'Man of Marble', the hero is killed during the shipyard protests at Gdansk in 1970). It's like some ex-apartheid bureaucrat claiming the credit for the works of Andre Brink and Breyten Breytenbach.

Wajda's most recent film is a biopic of a true hero, Lech Walesa. He also made a film about the Katyn massacre. I suspect that neither will make its way into Milne's DVD collection.

The Wykehamite Stalinist himself is best described here:

http://www.standpointmag.co.uk/node/4054

Rich Rostrom

ErisGuy: This was the Nazi's view of themselves.

Quite literally so. Heinrich Himmler was all in favor of the Nazi extermination program; but he only visited a death camp once. The reality of mass murder was unbearably disturbing to him.

However, he wrote that the men who were doing the actual killing were heroes. They were so dedicated to the glorious goal of racial purification that they could cast off all traditional morality,
overcome the normal feelings of humanity, and get on with the job. (Something Himmler admitted that he himself was too weak to do.)

Or, as McManus put it, "push past ethical constraints, even their own conscience, and bring about a greater good by doing terrible things."

ftumch

via Tim Worstall:

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/294367/don-t-erect-monument-che-carlos-eire

David

This seems relevant. Mary Graber attends a ‘literary’ conference:

When announcements for a world literature conference begin with a long quotation from The Communist Manifesto and a co-director approvingly quotes the left’s most popular dead Stalinist, Che Guevara, the aim became clear: the conference wasn’t really going to be about literature.

The attendees were treated to Guevara’s fantasies of “creating a new type of human being.” Though as Graber notes (and the conference speakers didn’t), “for Guevara, creating ‘a new type of human being’ entailed a good deal of torture and executions of those who were reluctant to be transformed.”

And remember, the people enthused by Che’s totalitarian blather are employed as educators.

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