Digihairshirt posted a short piece re: Che and pointed out a video featuring Cuban born musician, Paquito D'Rivera, who marvels at all the so-called "artists" who admire Che. Che hated jazz, and artists in general. There's a "Mao Kitchen" and millions of items sold with Che's face on it - and yet these paragons of Communists were responsible for the death of millions. Why are so many people today proud to sport Che/Mao gear?
Digi asked why so many on the left don't condemn mass murder by the left, and here was my answer with expanded remarks:
Sometimes I wish it was actual stupidity rather than a willful blindness and cowardice.
You saw it in everyone from Simone de Beauvoir, Sartre, Hollywood leftists in the 30s etc.
I think it is because those of the left are afraid to go against a collective. They very much value being part of a "group." They reject God, as a rule, so they only have "the group" to provide their sustenance. Everything is provided i.e. job/social connections/ standing in the community / friends etc. by a collective sense.
I can remember reading some book or other about a US woman living in Paris, and the way their society was networked people didn't help people so much on an individual basis i.e. she couldn't ask a neighbor to look after her youngster for an hour or two in an emergency, because she would have gotten: "can't you get the child care at your work to do that?" i.e. you had power by being in a certain pecking order, and God forbid you mess up your own hard gained position by giving some other sucker a break.
It's like the picked on kid at school. Things can be going fine...then one day little Johnny says/does something stupid, and he's the "goat du jour." Ridicule, and if some of the "not unpopular by any means, but not one of the leading clique" sticks up for Johnny, why he TOO will be picked on and ridiculed.
It takes a strong person to stand against a group and do what is right regardless of concern for their own standing. Because secretly these leftists want to be part of the top "in crowd" and they'll never be that if they defend the individual over the collective.
I don't know if you've ever read Whittaker Chamber's book, "WITNESS" but it's a very engaging book (one of my 5 favorite, in fact) wherein he tells how he, a man of the left, an intellectual fell into communism, and how he rose from it. He was involved with the communist underground in the US and saw and talks about first hand how labor unions were subsummed and taken over by communist cadres -- an easy target because while many of the aims of early unions were in some senses noble (i.e. work conditions, laws against child labor, etc.) The left saw this as an opportunity to pervert the legitimate desires of these people to do their own bidding. (Nice having union slush funds to do the work of communism and'/or the left in general too. ) "Hey, your union dues will go to "X" for collective bargaining (and in the bargain will also be siphoned off to get across OUR goals - California Teacher's association funding pro-gay marriage anyone? -- donations to planned parenthood anyone?" And these are the LEAST of it over the course of what history has shown us! Money we couldn't raise on the street corner, but by controlling the union, and using sometimes coercive tactics to get a union in, which now has a binding in court mandate, the can force people to join -- a la AFTRA, SAG, and other highly unionized industries) now have YOUR money in THEIR pockets to do what THEY want and you have no say.) There's a reason Reagan went from being a union leader to attacking the underbellies of the unions. He saw from within how corrupt they could become. Ancedotally, a good friend fo mine's grandfather was one of the founding members of the New York Iron Worker's Union. He quickly became disenchanted with it and left. "Geez, SOME of these labor union bastards are just as bad as the people we were trying to fight against!"
Chambers also saw what happened in the early 20s to the now obscure internal struggle within the US communist party between the Loveites and the Stonerites. He even saw illegal Russian plants actual be dumb enough to go home to be liquidated. Or perhaps they thought they could be "recalled for consultation to Moscow" and fake their way through it so their relatives wouldn't be liqudated if they defected. So powerful was fear against going against the collective.
Also if you read about the Hollywood 10 and not even so much them, but the whole leftist "artsy" crowd that inhabit the chattering classes you also find this commonality. "God" is for ignorant folk, and they want to replace Him with themselves. The new Nomenklatura, from which all grace and blessings and social benefits (and government approal!) flow. I wrote this for digi who knows Russian, but for those of you unfamiliar with the term "nomenklatura" means "The new wealthy/in power class - oh, not the TOP rung people, but their sychophants who get the grace and favor and goodies available by associate with the top dogs." My own definition, but that sums it up.
To step out of the box of the left, you not only have to think for yourself (and I'd be willing to bet that if they were being honest with themselves, many on the left would admit to the butchery) but they are AFRAID to challenge those with the Che t-shirts - because to do so would indicate independent thought outside the collective. And they can't bear the thought of the collective turning on them, because if it does, they feel they will have no where to go - having rejected God.
And frankly, it doesn't help the Catholic church much by having fuzzhead priest "sympathisers" who put labor union collective bargaining on the altar instead of God. Not everything the labor unions do by any stretch is ethical or moral, and there are a lot of naive at best or evil at worst people in the Catholic heirarchy who are too chicken to point out what's going on to their congregation. They will lose their congregation to the left, because they don't understand the aims of the left. And a principle aim of the left is to deny God.
If you wish to understand the left, please read Witness. It will give you the intellectual undergirding to fight the left. It is a lengthy book, but highly readable and digestible. Part autobiography, part history lesson, part spy story, part spiritual journal - it is truely a seminal work of American conservatism.
I'd like to note that the FIRST crack in the communist armor that Chamber's had donned was he and his wife's decision NOT to abort their firstborn child. The communist party advised their illegal underground workers not to be "burdened" with children. His wife said "We can't do this to a little child, OUR child." So they had the baby, and thus started their climb from darkness to the light. And a little child shall lead them.