And if someone says we are just romantics, inveterate idealists, thinking the impossible, that the masses of people cannot become almost perfect human beings, we will have to answer a thousand and one times: Yes, it can be done; we are confident that humanity as a whole can advance.
- Ernesto "Che" Guevara
Che Guevara helped lead a revolution with Fidel Castro to overthrow the Batista government in Cuba in 1958 beginning in the Sierra Maestra mountains with less than twenty, mostly inexperienced, very young, and unarmed fighters. Once Fidel gained total control of the country, it was Che, the passionate communist idealist who avowed the building of a true socialist state with the hope that social justice and equality for all could be achieved.
Of course, the prototypical model of communism appears to have fatal flaws due to its conflict with many parts of human nature (at this point in our evolutionary history), and Che's particular ideas about what it meant to be "perfect human beings" were extreme. But the important matter is that Che held on to an ideal and pursued it with pragmatic action. I argue that, through whatever methods, the advance of humanity as a whole toward social justice and equality requires first the unwavering conviction that it is possible. Subsequently, action that is wholly toward that end is in order.
And if you are looking for inspiration and/or practical ways in which to make changes toward such ends, here are three books I recommend: Global Justice , by Che Guevara, Civic Revolutionaries, by Douglas Henton, John Melville, and Kim Walesh, and Living, Leading, and the American Dream, by John W. Gardner. While Guevara's writings present a radical worldview and many profound philosophical questions, Henton and Gardner offer two great guides at getting started locally in the pursuit of the American ideals.