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The thing to understand about Socialism, to me, is that it isn't the quickest path to benefitting the most people, but the quickest path to benefitting the least advantaged. This is something Che Guevara understood in his lifelong commitment to freeing the colonized people of the world, such as in his role in assisting Fidel Castro was content to the freedom of his own people in Cuba.
Before that, however, Guevara lived the experience he documented in the Motorcycle Diaries, where he and a friend traversed South America on a motorcycle. Both doctors, they were ostensibly en route to a medical colony. As this scene depicts, after all they saw, all the people they spoke to, he felt more one of them, the average citizen, than he did an elite, someone apart from them socioeconomically.
Without doing too much a spoiler (you all know who Che Guevara was): No, they weren't. They spoke to normal people up and down the continent, understood their problems, they were normal themselves. That's really all socialism is. Being a revolutionary means to act on this sensibility. That's what the above scene is really all about:
Ernesto decides to swim across the channel in the dead of night, unconcerned that no one has survived the swim before. His doctor friends want him to turn back, the trek for these people is not worth his life; the people living in the colony want him to survive and the quickest path to survival is through. This is the difference between interest and solidarity. But something interesting happens: he's much closer to the leper-shore, and the positions do not change. He is cheered on for his effort by one party, still begged to return by another, it stops being about his survival as an individual, but his survival as an advocate, his role in lifting up a population.
He, ultimately, makes it.
There's a possibly apocryphal interview (I cannot remember where I read it, but I definitely did, even if it did paraphrase the exchange) with D. Boon and Mike Watt of the band The Minutemen. Watt challenges Boon on whether or not he's religious. Boon says something like "I'm not religious about God, I'm religious about Man"– this is as spiritual as it can get, if I'm being honest, for almost anyone. For some, being religious about the latter is to be religious about the former, but for most, these are distinct, and while it can still exemplify spirituality, it mostly exemplifies why humanity is not an innately selfish or self-interested or even individualistic construct.
The scene ends with not only Ernesto making it, but that while one side still demands he return, the other, potentially the one with something to gain, not only cheers him on, but assists him in completing the trek. That's what solidarity is; you give a little (as Ernesto did here, he will give it all later), you get a lot, everyone grows through knowing they matter. Even, after he succeeds, the men on the other side cheer his success, they're one people, once again.