The Problem with Hero’s and Icon’s

Posted on May 28, 2012


The problem with hero’s and icon’s

Monday, May 28, 2012

The problem with hero’s and icon’s


Recently on one of the OWS sites a member had posted a picture of Che (well a statue of him anyway) another member retorted that Che was a savage and a murderer…….. is this true?? Was he a hero of the downtrodden? Well that depends on whom you ask. 
The problems with hero’s and icon’s is that we somehow we unfairly put them on a very shaky pedestal. Take any hero of any cause in the revolutionary sense and your going to find bodies. there is no freedom without blood and violence are at least very very rarely. 

 Even Gandhi  has “blood on his hands“, insane to think so right? Gandhi was a vegetarian pacifist right? Take a bigger picture view of his actions and those of his followers and it tells a different story.

I don’t care for Che one iota however I respect his idealism and that he inspires others to try to make their situations and those of their fellows better for all. His image has come to stand for equality and struggle against tyranny regardless of the reality. For instance the American Civil War (and Revolution) had outstanding hero’s all around but if you look close enough you could easily call them murdering savages. Look at all of the Protestant Reformers across Europe- savages, conversely I was always raised that they were hero’s fighting against a corrupt Church. Any given cause that involved idealism and rapid change was savage. 
 How about Guy Fawkes who’s image has become taken up with many activists the world over.  He was a Catholic religious fanatic and terrorist. Or was he a rebel wanting to take out a corrupt regime? 

Richard “the Lionheart” “Cour de Lion” a hero in the eyes of many even his enemies could be a real heartless bastard, but as a man of his time he was a hero. 

My personal hero was (still is really) Jan Zizka leader of the Hussites Rebellion . 
He was one side of the coin (violence/reaction) to Jon Huss (diplomacy/thought). Both men are hero’s in my opinion but ask anyone who got their asses kicked by Zizka and the Hussites and I am very confident that we would get a different story.

 (at left Jan Zizka)

Again however it was the ideals, fighting corruption, standing up for freedom, fighting the good fight. So we need perhaps to ask whats more important the image and what it stands for? The cold hard reality? Both? -eVs 

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