This is a comment I wrote in response to an ongoing discussion of the popularity of leftist revolutionaries. I like it enough to reproduce it here.
I regard the valorization figures like Che and Lenin as unfortunate; I see it as secretly an expression of the despair I keep writing about. But when things are truly horrible, and there is no doubt that they are, people will often choose the brutally ideological or desperately violent. There is the urge to do something, anything, and to see matters set right in our lifetimes--to bring about heaven on earth in this generation. Come to think of it, they are not so different from those who wish to see the the second coming of Jesus in their generation. But in the case of the political left, I think this belief is in part a response to a valid perception of the widespread fear of change which is choking our world--hence the desire for dramatic change.Even if I seem to be paraphrasing some Buddhist or other, oh, well.
Do I have an alternative to offer? Perhaps I do. First and foremost, change of one's own attitudes and practices. I think there is much fondness of revolutionaries among those who let their fear keep them from making even small changes in their own lives. Secondly, patience in the pursuit of positive goals; if one doesn't pursue paradise one will find hell and if one pursues paradise violently one will also find hell.