We Need a Che Guevara of Our Own

The title might be misleading at first, but there is a good reason for that. To understand the needs and opportunities for the contemporary Right, we first need to understand what got the Left into power at first.

Enter Che Guevara, or more exactly, enter Ernesto Guevara de la Serna.

For anyone in either the free-market or the classical conservative sphere, the travel log of his motorcycle trip around Latin America should be a required reading. Not because it is an historical account of the radicalization of one man, who from well-educated Argentinian bourgeois doctor went to terrorist, revolutionary and guerrilla leader, but because it shows the seeds of how a simple man with ideas (albeit in his case, the worst ones) can become an archetype, a religious icon for a set of beliefs.

Even for someone like Murray Rothbard himself, Che Guevara was someone worth of interest, to the point of writing a highly critical but yet prophetic obituary for him, and Rothbard, of course, was right, because Che Guevara has probably become the most well-known political figure in recent Latin American history, and outside of the developed West, that is, the US-led Anglosphere and Western Europe, his face and his name have become synonymous with armed struggle, with guerrilla warfare, with an utopian socialist ideal that knows no limits nor boundaries.

His death at the hands of the Bolivian Army, helped by the CIA, in a failed attempt to spark an agrarian Marxist revolution in the Andean Altiplano, only contributed more to his already legendary status among those who oppose the ideas of freedom and civilization.

In practice, his death made him a martyr of the Left, a religious symbol of a revolution that never came but is always presented as the gospel of egalitarianism. Say what you want about Che Guevara, say he was a killer and a terrorist, and you will be right. But that doesn’t take away the fact that Che was ready to die for his ideas, and in fact did so.

The Right, neither conservative nor libertarian, doesn’t have a single person who has gone to such extents. We don’t have martyrs, and our beliefs are not religious. We may think of the self-immolating acts committed by the likes of Alex Jones or Kanye West as martyrdom for our causes, like free speech, but they are nothing but counterproductive folk activism.

In fact, our beliefs, are quite the opposite to a religious fanatism, for they are rooted in the reasonable analysis of history, nature and society, and as such, the results of our ideas, even if adequate on a long term, are not easy to sell to high-time preference masses, who have become used to receive subsidies from governments and have internalized the propaganda created by the corporate-managerial class that works in tandem with policy-makers.

Our society is deadlocked between an individual struggle for freedom and an organized struggle for power, and our times are stranger than ever, for they represent what Francis Fukuyama still insists is the End of History, but look closer to the civilization end stage described by Oswald Spengler in his Decline of the West magnum opus.

The problem is that if we take either Fukuyama’s or Spengler’s words for granted, we’re still left without some key elements to understand the mechanics of our age: liberal democracy is indeed the dominant system all around the world, but it is not liberal (for it is not generous, as defined by Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, and because it creates false, unstable prosperity out of heavy taxation, inorganic monetary emission and general government intervention of the economy), nor it is democratic (for it allows everyone to vote, no matter who or what “the People” is or is intended to be, and reserves power only for an unelected managerial class.)

If this account of facts is remindful of James Burnham’s ideas, it is because he, like Spengler, identified elements of our current collapse, and tried to predict its future by equating the imminent managerialism of the West with Soviet Stalinism and Italian fascism, and in many senses, Burnham was right, and Western managerialism has indeed become something akin to fascism, although without the nationalism, as Lew Rockwell has repeatedly warned us.

But where does that leave us and how is Che Guevara connected to all of this?

Simple: for Burnham, as well as for Spengler, as theorists of Western collapse, the system that would be in place in the endgame of civilization would depend on strongmen like Cecil Rhodes to work smoothly, for they, as the Great Men in History described by Thomas Carlyle, would be the only ones able to take the reins of power to direct society.

This mention of Cecil Rhodes is not random, because he could probably be considered the best example of how a Great Man idea must be compensated with a sound understanding of historical processes, and because Rhodes, like Che Guevara, was strongman, a tactician and a born leader. In Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s words, he was a natural elite.

From an English boy with poor health, the son of an Anglican priest, he became a mining magnate and then an important politician in South Africa. His talent for business allowed to thrive and prosper, and his short stay in Oxford University shaped his worldview into one of British dominance and influence.

In the same fashion as other strongmen before him, Rhodes was elevated into the highest prestige in his last years and after his death, with the British colonies he helped to acquire getting named after him (not unlike Bolivia being named after Simón Bolívar), with his South African estate becoming the campus for the University of Cape Town, and with his large fortune left to fund the Oxford scholarship named in his honor, which has helped educated thousands of politicians and enterprise heads from all around the Anglosphere, with the original intent of shaping them to think in the same way Rhodes himself thought about a British-dominated world.

But his legacy hasn’t prospered as much as the almost religious veneration Che Guevara has acquired, for the idea of Rhodes, the imperial businessman and politician, once respected as an ideal of the British Empire, has now become anathema even in the very institution he attended and donated his fortune to, for the gospel of egalitarianism cannot allow the veneration of natural elites, in their own times and contexts.

Che Guevara, on the other side, by living fast and dying young, by focusing and sacrificing himself to his ideas, created a myth around and about himself, a myth that men like Cecil Rhodes could have never even achieved.

And now, in our Populist age, where political and business leaders emerge out of the polarization of ideas and beliefs, where strongmen and magnates like Ron DeSantis and Elon Musk can lead thousands of supporters and yet still have troubles to hold or exercise power in their own spheres of influence, the question remains: what are we missing that the Left does have?

We may not realize it, but the Left is currently lacking this key element: they don’t have natural elites, they don’t have caudillos, they don’t have true leaders.

In their inflation of their egos, they have elevated the likes of Klaus Schwab and Samuel Bankman-Fried into their demigods, and when the societal collapse they have caused themselves may finally come, they won’t be able to prevent it or to mitigate it.

But here is where and when our duty becomes clear: if the Left is a fanatic religious movement focused on enforcing egalitarianism, and if the Left has had its martyrs like Che Guevara, then our fight, just as Rothbard said, must also be a religious crusade, one for the defense of freedom and civilization.

But to fight such a fight you don’t only need fighters, you need leaders, tacticians, strategists. Not everyone can be one, because our natural differences make us spontaneously inclined to different activities and positions in life, but extreme circumstances do create extreme leaders.

Ernesto Guevara did not become El Che from day to night, he was transformed by his trip around Latin American, radicalized by the poor living conditions of his fellow men, and engaged by the common identity of a single continent from the Rio Grande to Patagonia. It just happens he took to wrong path and he fought for the wrong ideas, and instead of prosperity to the masses, the only things he brought were death and misery, in Cuba, in Angola, and in Bolivia.

His face, now a symbol, still represents carnage and poverty wrapped around an utopian ideal, but ultimately proves the point of this essay: Che was, and still is, a symbol.

We, in the Right, cannot take him for our side, because it would be incoherent and counterproductive, but we must understand what made him as such. Che emerged under the most unlikely conditions and circumstances. Our Che will probably emerge from the most unlikely of the places as well.

Because if one thing is true, that our conflict with the left is indeed a religious fight against a fanatic progressive dogma, then we will also need leaders and martyrs, just like Che was for the Left in the past. We need a Che Guevara of our own.

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Why We Won’t Publish the Word ‘Woke’

As of today, the Mallard is no longer publishing articles that include the word ‘woke’, in either print or online. 

Too many submissions, not just to the Mallard, but other publications – have become reliant on this word to explain away current trends that people find unappealing, yet cannot articulate why beyond anything other than this word. It is the responsibility of all outlets to contribute to the public discourse, and when a word, concept, idea, or individual, fails to contribute to the discourse – they have to be removed.

When pundits of the right use ‘woke’, they are using a word spawned by the online Left to denote their being ‘awake’ to the ‘injustices’ of the world, which are usually spawned from an ideological conviction rather than an actual understanding of the complex issues of the world. It suggests these people – the ‘woke’ left – are awake to the things that we are not, as if they have some deep insight that surpasses the average person. It is simply the latest expression of ‘real consciousness’ derived from Marxism.

Of course, we all know that the word is used sarcastically – but to use it at all is to make the eternal mistake of the Right, and to fight the Left on their own terms. We have been making this mistake for seventy years, and to reverse this trend, we need to stop appealing to their language, their values, their goals. 

But even when the word is used derisively, it adds virtually nothing. Issues around pronouns and bathrooms pale in comparison to the economic, cultural, and demographic changes brought about by the respective trends of globalism, liberalism, and immigration. There is nothing substantively different in the current cultural trends than in the previous cultural trends. What is happening today should not be described with a new word, because what is happening today is not new. That is the reality of where we are now – ‘woke’ is not sufficiently different from what came before it to really merit a separate topic of discussion. It is just an extension of the logic of the sexual revolution, the Civil Rights era, and the great liberalisation of the last sixty years.

One of our assistant editors, William Yarwood, last year recorded a short podcast begging us to stop calling groups like Antifa ‘fascists’ or the Left ‘the real racists’, and recognise that they are just communists. Stop calling the Left ‘woke’ as shorthand for a broad range of things you just ‘don’t like’. 

It is useless to say ‘look, I agree with what they stand for, I just don’t like how they’re going about it’. Then your disagreement is technical, it is not fundamental, so really you’re just the ones putting the brakes on their movement. They will come for you eventually, so you might as well recognise that now. 

Calling something ‘woke’ is a lazy caricature that lets (what passes for) the right wing commentariat get away with murder; the liberals of yesteryear are allowed to displace conservative voices in media, politics,  and culture. They pretend, in their sarcastic overtones, that leftists are weak and hypersensitive, when in reality they want to put children on hormone blockers, let men into womens’ changing rooms, open our borders to people who hate us, and teach the next generation that they have nothing to gain from the civilisation that birthed them. 

These individuals are not weak. These people are not hypersensitive. Instead, they pass laws to put people in prison if they so much as joke about them. The notion these people are weak is a reflection of decades of failure of conservatives to actually do anything about them. If these individuals were weak, they would not find it so easy to break down the barriers that protect the most vulnerable in society: women and children.

These are not just simple activists, by the way. They are in our institutions, running our universities, pioneering our civil service, ‘decolonising’ our curricula, all the while entrenching their culture by building parallel careers that have no real world purpose or function. The massive, tumorous growth of the ‘human resources’ machine has seen to it that busy body unemployable humanities graduates have a reason to exist once more, only now it is self-perpetuating cancer that simultaneously cannot abide the existence of leftist heresy whilst relying on it like a parasite.

And as we see continuously, the online right is just as bad. If there are necessary discussions about poverty, living crises, genuine injustices that actually harm peoples’ lives, the right shrieks ‘woke!’ in such a hypersensitive way that the actual discussion disappears behind parody and caricature. TalkRadio’s infamous Mike Graham recently told an Extinction Rebellion member that we can ‘grow concrete’ in an effort to ‘own the lib’ – to which the XR member, who is stupid for different reasons, was left speechless. By consequence, Mike Graham made XR look reasonable – an own-goal, if ever there was one. 

When war broke out in Ukraine, it was necessary for the right to attempt to make sense of it. This was done well in some circles – with people drawing attention to the Realist school Regardless of your thoughts on the Realist school, it was undoubtedly an intellectual contribution to the discourse. If you looked at the mainstream discourse however, you would know nothing of this contribution. Instead, it became another flashpoint to discuss this word, those they associate with it, and how these people were ‘weak’, ‘hypersensitive’ and made it so we were incapable of fighting a war against Putin.

It couldn’t possibly be that nuclear war is a possibility, or even – as the neoconservative lobby implicitly recognises but refuses to admit – that we have nothing to gain from getting involved in the war. No, it must be the woke. We end up in some perverse eternal Spy vs Spy scenario, where ‘woke warriors’ seek out racism/sexism/whateverism in any place they can find it, while the ‘common sense rightists’  only try to define what they consider ‘woke’ to make it work, rather than criticise it on its own grounds.

So we are not publishing the word any longer. Here is a list of publications that are likely interested: The Sun; TalkRadio; The Critic; Compact; Breitbart; GB News. I am sure they will find your work fascinating. We won’t. 

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