Chinese socialism and Russian communism

Che political life only really began during his next trip around Latin America. " I realise something that was growing inside of me for some time . Has now matured; and is the hate of civilisation, the absurd image of people moving like locos to the rhythm of that tremendous noise that seems to me like a hateful antithesis of peace"iv. Especially in Guatemala were he embraced the concept of freedom.

In regards to Guatemala Che told his family that " this was the country in which one could breath the most democratic air in South America"v, however because of his Argentinean background and his strong Marxist beliefs he had to leave Guatemala and so he went to Mexico and Met Castro. He described this meeting as " a political occurrence is having met Fidel Castro, the Cuban revolutionary, a young man, intelligent, very sure of himself and of extraordinary audacity, I think there is a mutual sympathy between us"vi.

He was more educated than Castro, but they worked well together and were complementary personalities as I have said, they were "natural opposites"vii. At this time his political beliefs were growing and developing and he was reading a lot of Karl Marx, (the new man theory had not been finalised but the seeds were growing), After the revolution Castro sent Che to the Colonna were he started preaching the word of Marx and started reading the writings of Mao.

In the early 1960s he visited the Soviet Union and China and gained a romantic view of the socialist revolution, he was impressed with the Soviet Union as their socialism was diluted by economics, however by 1961 Che lost faith in the Soviet Union. His romantic view of socialism had been dented, after this he went to China, and seen their version of simple communism and learnt of Mao's attitudes, Che thought the Chinese showed " a higher socialist morality than the Soviet Union"viii yet he saw frailties in their systems and felt that Russia and China were not socially correct.

Che wanted to take Maoism and Russian socialism and mix them taking the best of each and amalgamating them into his "New Man" theory. He wanted to add Russian industrialisation to Mao's form of communism. (However at this time he wasn't happy that the Russians were only trading with him to gain part control of Cuba - like the Americans previously. ) By 1962 Che got very critical of Russia because of their role in the Cuba missile crisis and he started critising Karl Marx (he criticised Marx but this derived from their different backgrounds - Che's rural background compared to Marx's industrial. )

Mao at this time thought that an individual could be moulded (saved) into a new and better person, however Che disagreed, he thought that individual couldn't be saved, he thought that were already caught by economic greed from birth. It's fair to say that Che was a radical Maoist and a Soviet socialist. 1963 saw the birth of the "new man" theory, Che thought that socialism was now only possible on a global scale, it wouldn't work in only one country.

At time Che decided it was time to leave Cuba, many historians believe it was down to his poor relationship with his mentor Castro and their constant arguing, also historians tend to believe that Castro was losing his ideology at this stage and that economics was taking over, it was infiltrating him however I disagree with that, I believe that Che would never have questioned Castro's idea logy, as he seen him as a mentor and a God like figure. I believe he left Cuba because Che felt his work there was done, Castro was a Cuban Nationalist and more passionate about matters in Cuba than the Argentinean born more socialist Che.

Che thought, that with time society could adopt socialism, and capitalism would fade out, it would take 50 or 100 years, but he felt socialism could take the place of capitalism. He even believed that he himself had faults - but in order for "new man" to exist capitalism could not exist. He saw socialist wrongs and as a doctor he wanted to find a cure, he felt that the society needed a complete overhaul, he felt Chinese socialism and Russian communism were not the answer. His ideas changed and developed as he got older and more experienced - as when he was younger he was very idealistic.

By 1965, Che had lost faith with Cuba because he believed mainly that his work was done but also that Cuba was not acting as a big enough launch pad to the world, and socialism. He didn't believe that his belief of the "new man" theory would ever work, as capitalism will always be over powering. "As people can be bought" (showing his very idealistic nature and beliefs). A short time after this Che went to Bolivia with a small amount of men to continue his life long crusade, he hoped that people in years to come would use his theory.

However when he died so did his theory with many historians believing that he went to Bolivia to die a Martyr? The "new man" theory or Guevarraism was about " prevention rather than cure", his theories were beyond their time, he had taken the best of other socialist ideas and put them together and created the "new man" theory - and he wanted to use his struggle in Bolivia as a springboard to the rest of the world. He thought that an individual could be set free, he saw man as an "unfinished product" needing his theory to be complete.

To conclude, in terms of the "new man" theory and Che,s life it is clear that they are both inter-linked. As Che got older his theory developed and grew. The "new man" theory was the bad points of Marxism, Russian communism and Chinese communism destroyed however it was very idealistic and destined for failure. Che died a legend and a martyr almost Christ like. However the new man theory would always have struggled to succeed as " capitalism has a grasp on everything in society" its invisible.