"The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall"---Ernesto Che Guavara (who fought alongside with Fidel Castro.)
The death of Fidel Castro, Cuban Revolutionary Leader has just reminded us that man is a mere mortal who is programmed to live for the allocated period of time with quantified measured of time and space, and when he is done, his finiteness ends and he would no longer walk on the surface of the planet again.
Late Castro was a reader, and I am almost sure, that he might have been influenced by the writings of Karl Marx and activity of Lenin in juxtaposition with Hegel, before he settled for the revolutionary advocacy of the former. For clarity, let me just take you to the philosophical journey of the two tendencies.
Hegel believed that the history of the world and human development should be traced to the spirit, and that the consciousness of man is the manifestation of the spirit. Being an idealist, Hegel argues that it was the superstructure-theories, religion, philosophy and history that determined the prevailing mode of production, but Marx as interpreted by Engels disagreed with Hegelian dialectics, arguing that it was the human subsistence that determined history of man, for the consciousness of man is not drawn from spirit but the survival instinct of man; noting that forces of production and relation of production which could be understood as implements and the relation of the people to the implement that defined the mode of production.
What might have interested Castro was the revolutionary activity Marx advocated, as he led his comrades through an armed struggle against the military dictatorship in Cuba, he won in 1959, and declared a Communist republic at Havana when he released pigeons at the freedom square. Interestingly, one pigeon returned to his shoulder, and there was shout of Fidel! Fidel!!
Cuba under Castro was a state in communism, the state owned mode of production, and the destiny of the people. The eleven million peopled country defied threat of United States, and did away with eleven Presidents of US, until he ceded power to his immediate brother, Raul Castro who could no longer see the position of communism holding in the world again as he opened up the relationship with USA under Barack Obama.
What an irony! The metaphysical optimism of Karl Marx was to have communism fondly called egalitarian society, where all men and women are equal, but he could not tell what to come after communism, that was what Bertrand Russell called Byzantine immobility. However, the latest opening up of Cuba has shown the reverse of history in the dialectics of development. Castro, the great Revolutionary is dead. I am glad I read his book while he lived, though in Abacha detention, while we were struggling to restore democracy to Nigeria. With Castro's death, an era has come to an end.
I learnt about the death of another great lawyer and human rights advocate, Fred Agbaje too, and I can't agree more with Hegel that there is a universal spirit that controls the affairs of men. And that is the reason why no mortal, irrespective of influence, wealth or position, should play God; for every empire has an expiry date.
Adieu Great Fidel Castro! Good night, Fred Agbaje.
Butika is an intercontinental journalist.