Che Guevara Goes to Business School

News & Politics

My mind plays havoc with my soul, and my heart in turn feels as though it were being devoured by a thousand sharp-toothed weasels, delicate in purpose but implacable in mission. From the desolate wreckage of experience I deliver this message to you, full of hope and bereft of doubt. My decision has been made.

You have raised me to believe that the wretched of this earth can only improve their lot through bloody revolution. I was brought up thinking that land must be seized from the powerful, grabbed from the rich, removed from the hands of the greedy finqueros who curse our starving continent.

Well, madre y padre, I have wandered the countryside, on motorcycle, bicycle, unicycle and pack mule. I have seen toddlers no bigger than my whiskey bottle roaming the streets with machetes. I have seen a 90-year-old woman bite off the head of her plantation foreman. I have seen a colonel, a venal, corrupt torturer, suffer a savage beating at the hands of a gaggle of portly nuns.

Yet nothing has changed in our land. There is no justice. There is no peace. The people do not rule.

And that, my dear parents, is why I have decided to business school.

Many will call me an adventurer, and that I am; only of a different type-of those who believe spreadsheets and marketing plans and globalization will once and for all end the cycle of poverty and inequality that plague our planet. I have been an artist, a doctor, a writer, a rallier of peasants, but it has been my experience that nothing-nothing-brings about social justice faster than a well-ordered business plan.

Take as example the people of the wretched Peruvian hamlet of Santa Puta de la Chingada, a place where the life expectancy is seventeen years of age, and that, until five weeks ago, had no running water, electricity, grass, or household pets.

Then, from seemingly nowhere, up rumbled a United Nations jeep containing a team of seven business students from Wharton, in the state of Pennsylvania. Within three days, Santa Puta had its first concrete building. Within five, its first factory. After a week, the town had a bagel shop and a little perfume boutique. Now, barely more than a month after the business students arrived, it is the third largest city in Peru and boasts one of the world's leading opera companies.

You must understand, dear parents, that the world is changing. Although I am deeply pleased that vicious criminals like Augusto Pinochet and P.W. Botha are being brought to justice, you also must understand that the politics of those who opposed them are outmoded and dull. There is no more room for uncontrolled rebellion in today's fast-changing global economy.

I encourage you to subscribe to a new publication, Forbes Global. We are reading it in business school, and it is nothing short of a revolution. In a world where five-year plans change every five minutes, where timely, accurate information is the universal currency, Forbes Global is the only hope for survival.

It was on the back of a Mexican second-class bus, headed for Juarez, where I found my first copy of Forbes Global. I'd been planning to organize Sony-employed maquiladora workers on the border, but instead crossed that picket line and joined the company's elite management team in planning world-class business solutions for the 21st century. My decision to go to business school was sealed forever.

In fact, parents, I am so convinced that Forbes Global will change your life forever, that I'm sending you a six-month trial subscription, free of charge. I'm that confident that this publication will give you courage to move forward with your lives.

I never would have imagined so much could be accomplished by using a personal digital assistant, cellular phone, and speculative capital. I see now that the weary lungs of our continent will soon be breathing fresh air. As I take to the jungle next time, I will not be armed with a carbine and grenades. Instead, I will take my wits. Instead, I will take my laptop. Instead of wearing fatigues, I will wear a $3,000 suit.

I apologize for this change of heart, mother and father. I know that this must be difficult for you to hear as you huddle in your bunker, fearing the knock of the right-wing death squad that has hunted you for so long. But now the will that I have polished with the delight of a revolutionary must sustain a vibrant and healthy business career.

Be strong in the knowledge, my dear parents, that soon the sorrow-stricken of the earth, the teeming, bleeding, filth-covered mass of struggling workers, will soon be free of their burden. I am convinced that business school, and Forbes Global, shall set them free. This remains my shining hope.

Yours in the struggle for freedom and justice,


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