Long Hair's Che love shows true spirit of revolution

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 02 October, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 02 October, 2004, 12:00am

I have been reading up on Che Guevara since Leung Kwok-hung was elected to Legco. I think a man's hero - and his T-shirts - ought to give some insights into the man himself. What I found is not exactly comforting.

Che was a good old-fashion totalitarian of the Soviet variety - there were Cubans who favoured democratic socialism but Che's faction crushed them. His favourite political methods included firing squads, labour camps and guerilla warfare. He favoured international bloodletting like the Vietnam war so as to take on Uncle Sam and spread world revolution in developing countries. His international revolutionary efforts got him killed in Bolivia in 1967. A premature death made him the James Dean of Marxism.

Leung, a Trotskyite, is well-versed in Marxist literature and history - probably more so than anyone who doesn't have a PhD on the subject. I first learned about Leung as an autodidact when I was a reporter for a now-defunct paper. He and I argued Marxist politics and economics and he won hands down.

Anyway, I am starting to wonder about Che the icon and Leung the man. There was Leung's recent insistence on getting an elderly man arrested who was protesting against him and was clearly not of sound mind.

This seemed odd for a seasoned protester like Long Hair, but obviously it's different being at the receiving end.

But maybe I am reading too much into Leung's Guevara T-shirts. As Marx says, history always repeats itself - the first time as tragedy (Guevara), the second time as farce (Leung). Long Hair's antics, old and recent, are ample proof of this Marxist truism.