October 19, 2009

The Motorcycle Diaries

Read "Che" Guevera's " The MotorCycle Diaries"

Nothing special about the book...

There are a few interesting excerpts, which I'm listing down below.

The old man's prophecy in the last chapter. This is perhaps the best excerpt in the entire book.
The future belongs to the people and gradually, or in one strike, they will take power, here and in every country.

The terrible thing is, the people need to be educated , and this they cannot do without taking power, only after. They can only learn at the cost of their own mistakes, which will be very serious and will cost many innocent lives. Or perhaps not, maybe those lives will not have been innocent because they will have committed the huge sin against nature: meaning a lack of ability to adapt. All of them, those unable to adapt - you and I for example - will die cursing the power they helped, through great sacrifice, to create.

Revolution is impersonal; it will take their lives, even utilizing their memory as an example or as an instrument for domesticating the youth who follow them. My sin is greater because, I, more astute and with greater experience, call it what you like, will die knowing that my sacrifice stems only from an inflexibility symbolizing our rotten civilization, which is crumbling. I also know - and this wont alter the course of history or your personal view of me - that you will die with a clenched fist and tense jaw, the epitome of hatred and struggle, because you are not a symbol (some inanimate example) but a genuine member of the society to be destroyed; the spirit of the beehive speaks through you and motivates your action. You are as useful as I am, but you are not aware of how useful your contribution is to the society that sacrifices you.

Che's observation on Blacks and Whites. His observation can be generalized and extended to other races. It explains why the poor remain poor and the rich richer.
Discrimination and poverty unite the black and whites in the daily fight for survival. But their different ways of approaching life separate them completely; the black is indolent and a dreamer; spending his meager wage on frivolity or drink; the European has a tradition of work and saving, which has pursued him as far as this corner of America and drives him to advance himself, even independently of his own individual aspiration.

Che's observation on gifted alpha males. Context: Valdivia's conquest of Chile
Caesar, once proclaimed he would rather be first-in-command in some humble Alpine village than second-in-command in Rome. There are a few men who belong to that special class, in whom a carving for limitless power is so extreme that any suffering to achieve it seems natural.

Che's observation on how to enjoy scenic beauties - not jut by letting it go past your car window, but by immersing yourself in it. If you enjoy traveling, you will be able to relate to it
Seeing the landscape at this superficial level only captures its boring uniformity, not allowing you to immerse yourself in the spirit of the place; for that you must stop at least several days

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