Ernesto Guevara was born at Rosario, Argentina on this day in 1928. He learned chess at an early age and was playing in tournaments by age 12. His family frequently hosted veterans of the Spanish revolution, and Guevara read widely. He enrolled at the University of Buenos Aires, but left for a motorcycle trip covering much of South America. After returning to finish his degree in medicine, he set out again through eight countries, ending in Guatemala where he was involved with the Communist government when it was overthrown by the CIA. He escaped to Mexico, then on to join Castro's Cuban revolution, putting aside his medical kit to specialize in logistics and finally becoming a strategist and field commander. "Che" later was involved in the Congo and Bolivia. His was a complex and intense life of Revolution.
Regardless of whether you considered him a revolutionary or a terrorist is irrelevant; the fact remains he, like so many who came before him, influenced the times, and to this day even in death influences people to make decisions, they may or may not have, had he not been born.
Below are some memorable quotes regarding revolution, my favorite being Lincoln’s:
The country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.
– Abraham Lincoln, 1809 – 1865
Clarke's Law of Revolutionary Ideas: Every revolutionary idea — in science, politics, art, or whatever — seems to evoke three stages of reaction. They may be summed up by the phrases: (1) "It's completely impossible — don't waste my time"; (2) "It's possible, but it's not worth doing"; (3) "I said it was a good idea all along."
– Arthur C. Clarke, 1917 – 2008
The genuine artist is as much a dissatisfied person as the revolutionary, yet how diametrically opposed are the products each distills from his dissatisfaction.
– Eric Hoffer, 1902 – 1983
Every revolution was first a thought in one man's mind.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803 – 1882
There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you.
– William Hazlitt, 1778 – 1830
Revolutions are the periods of history when individuals count most.
– Norman Mailer, 1923 – 2007