Diana West, author of American Betrayal, Jeffrey Nyquist, author of Origins of the Fourth World War, and Olavo de Carvalho, Brazilian philosopher who authored a dozen books in Brazil and debated Russian geopolitical strategist Aleksandr Dugin, join Allan dos Santos, host of Update Brazil, to talk about the Communist Subversion in Latin America.
Note: The quotes from President Dilma’s speeches were carefully translated from the Portuguese. What you are going to read is, unfortunately, an accurate rendition of her words and meaning (or lack thereof).In a speech delivered last April, former Brazilian President Luís Inácio Lula da Silva (2003-2011), manifesting his support for his successor, President Dilma Rousseff (2011-present), promised she would make the Brazilian people smile again. Most Brazilians would probably agree with that, but not for the same reasons he might have had in mind when he said it.
The truth is that President Rousseff has demonstrated her ability to produce mirth among the audience on the many occasions when she decided to speak her mind publicly without preparation. In almost every impromptu speech she has delivered, it is possible to find moments in which a rare combination of words, ideas, and images makes her audience think in astonishment: “No, she did not say that.” Thanks to her repeatedly disastrous and unintentionally comic speeches, she has become known as the queen of nonsense, and her peculiar oratorical style has been dubbed “Dilmês,” which can be roughly translated into English as “Dilmish.”
Her memorable lines in Dilmish have given rise to a new comedy genre on the Brazilian web, which essentially consists in simply compiling and exhibiting her gems of thought in articles, videos, memes, and songs. In her almost five years as president, she has said so many things, so badly put, and so often, that there is a true treasury of Dilmish wisdom available on the internet.
For example, last week, in a speech delivered at the ceremony that launched the First World Games of Indigenous Peoples to be held in Brazil in October this year, President Dilma Rousseff made her audience smile over and over again by offering them a remarkable series of sentences so badly crafted that they immediately became brilliant jewels of unintentional humor and major internet hits.
After ten minutes of standard welcome and praise to national and international guests, Rousseff finally decided to improvise and make some laudatory remarks about the indigenous peoples of Brazil, but with the Dilmish mode already fully on, what ended up coming out of her mouth was this:
“I believe that we need to be proud about the historical formation of this country, and going beyond the fact that each indigenous people represents a specific culture, we need to be immensely proud of being a mixture of many ethnicities in the make-up of the Brazilian nation. And here today, we hail one of them: we salute the indigenous ethnicity, which gave us, as the vice-governor of this state, here representing the governor, mentioned before, the flavor of the names that are present in all of our cities. True, but I also would like to hail something else, since no civilization was born without some form of staple food. And we have one here, as the American Indians and indigenous peoples have theirs, we have yuca. And here we are sharing yucca with corn. And certainly, we will have a whole series of other products that were essential for the development of all human civilization throughout the centuries. So, here, today, I salute yuca. I think it is one of the greatest conquests of Brazil.”
It is hard to find a real rational explanation for why she suddenly decided to go from praising Brazilian Indians to talking about yuca (AKA cassava) and why she uttered those last three sentences of her yuca- cheering speech. The whole thing becomes even more comical when you are informed that the word yuca is a vulgar synonym for the male sexual organ in Brazilian Portuguese (because of the suggestive shape of the yuca root).
But that was not all for the day.
During her speech President Rousseff kept under one of her arms a hand-made leaf ball that, according to her, was a gift from participant from New Zealand, and just after her yuca salutation, she proceeded to attempt a quite risky mental maneuver for a thinker of her class: to use the leaf ball as a symbol for the practice of sports as a characteristically human activity. Speaking her mind like there was no tomorrow, Rousseff, in a theoretical flight of fancy, managed to concoct the following narrative:
“I am sure about this, and here I would like to show our long-established relation with sports. Here is a ball that I have been testing all the time. It is ball that was given to me by Terena and that I will take with me—and it will last as long as it takes. This ball comes from far away, from New Zealand. And it is a ball that I think it is an example, it is extremely light. I have already tried it, and it bounces. I tried it myself, I did one kick-up, no, I lie, half a kick-up. Well, but I think that the importance of a ball is precisely this: it is a symbol of the capacity that makes us different as . . . we belong to the human genus, to the sapiens species. We are those that have the capacity to play games. For this is what playing is about: the important thing is not to win, but to celebrate. That is the human, ludic, capacity of taking part in an activity whose end is itself, the activity itself.
So, sports have this characteristic, this blessing. Sports are an end to themselves, and that’s why they are not about winning, but about celebrating, about participating in the World Games of Indigenous Peoples. It is to participate celebrating the meaning of this activity that first characterizes children. The ludic activity of playing, the ludic activity of being able of playing.
So, to me, this ball is a symbol of our evolution. When we created a ball like this, we became homo sapiens or women sapiens.”
It did not take long, of course, for the yuca and “women sapiens” sections of her speech to take over the web in Brazil in the form of a variety of jokes. Perhaps one of the most delightfully creative comic pieces created was this songified version of President Rousseff’s statements (see an English translation for the lyrics below):
“I salute yuca.
I salute yuca.
We are sharing yuca with corn.
We are sharing yuca with corn.
And certainly, we will have a whole series of other products that were essential for the development of all human civilization.
I salute yuca.
I salute yuca.
I think it is one of the greatest conquests of Brazil.
I salute yuca.
I salute yuca.
When we created a ball like this, we became homo sapiens or women sapiens.
So, to me, this ball is a symbol of our evolution.
We are sharing yuca with corn.
We are sharing yuca with corn.
I salute yuca.
I salute yuca.”
Once again I must remind my readers that those quotations from President Rousseff are actually representative samples of her speech style. They are not simply a non-habitual poor choice of words that was made in a really bad day the President had, nor are they a selection of sentences carefully put together to misrepresent her meaning. There are literally dozens of other speeches that could be quoted here to bear out the existence of the Dilmish language, and some of them are as good (or bad) as the ones above. In short, make no mistake: the woman really talks like that.
As another example, consider an excerpt from the speech she delivered on Children’s Day (celebrated on October 12 in Brazil) in 2013. She was in an important capital city, Porto Alegre, of an important southern State, Rio Grande do Sul, and the bulk of her speech was really about the Federal Administration’s new public transportation program and the opening of that city’s first subway. However, since it was also Children’s Day, a date devoted to celebrate the rights of children, President Rousseff thought it would be nice to say some words about it. So, again, after the standard introduction of greetings and praises, she activated the Dilmish mode and fired away:
“And, in particular, since I am here in this city that is so dear to me, Porto Alegre, I would like to greet Mayor Fortunati and his wife, First-Lady Regina Becker. If today is Children’s Day, yesterday I sad that a child . . . (pause) Children’s Day is Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Teachers’ Day as well, but it is also Animals’ Day. Whenever you look at a child, there is always a hidden figure, which is a dog behind the child, which is something really important. So, Regina also praise you for your dedication to that cause.”
That was literally it. She did not further elaborate upon it, nor did it become somewhat clear later on in her speech why she chose those words. That was all of it. And this is a perfect example of another important kind of Dilmish: the one in which she suddenly veers off-topic, and you have a slight hope she will eventually come back, put all pieces together, and make her point; but she never does. She just goes off-topic for no reason.
Another fantastic species of Dilmish is that in which she actually tries to make a point by stretching the resources of language to the outer limits of human logic, and the result is usually the verbal correspondent of a surrealist painting. A good example of that is the answer she gave in a TV interview in September 2010 when asked to give her opinion about the competition between opposing parties on a referendum to decide about the legalization of abortion in Brazil. According to her:
“I don’t think that whoever wins or loses, neither whoever wins, nor whoever loses, will win or will lose. Everybody will lose.”
That is also a good example of one of the beauties of Dilmish: you can make your own interpretation of the President’s words. Since you cannot really take what she says literally, you are free to exercise your hermeneutical skills and come up with the meaning you think she had in mind. It is not a game deprived of fun, if you have the time to spare, and there are many Brazilian websites and YouTube videos in which collection of sentences like that are grouped under the head “What the heck was President Dilma trying to say?” Here are some of my all-time favorites:
“All of us know that each of us choose—and life makes us choose—some of the days in which we will never forget that day.”
“The environment is, no doubt, a threat to sustainable development. And that means that it is a threat to the future of our planet.”
“It is interesting that in Brazil you are oftentimes, as Brazilians usually say, criticized for having a dog and sometimes for not having a dog. That is an interesting criticism that takes place in Brazil.”
“And we have created a program that I would like to speak with you about, which is the Science Without Borders program. Why would I like to speak about Science Without Borders to you? It is because in all others . . . because we are going to launch Science Without Borders 2. The number 1 is 100,000, but it will have to continue to do Science without Borders in Brazil.”
“By the way, once I was told by a friend that this issue of men and women was no problem at all because women are the majority, but the other part. . . the other part of the majority is made up of men, all of them being born of a woman, and that’s why everything was all right: women together with women. Because men can have boys and girls and wives, but they necessarily have—and that’s not just a possibility, it is a necessity—a mother.”
“Paes [Rio de Janeiro’s Mayor] is the happiest mayor in the world, who runs the most important city in the world and in the whole galaxy. Why the whole galaxy? Because our galaxy is Rio de Janeiro. The Milky Way is nothing compared to the galaxy of which our dear Paes has the honor of being the mayor.”
As I think my readers can see it clearly now, something is rotten in the state of Brazil, and the stench is coming from the top.
This post was written by Alessandro Cota, philosophy and political science researcher at the Inter-American Institute for Philosophy, Government, and Social Thought.
See video footage, for the first time translated into English, of the Brazilian popular demonstrations against the Workers’ Party and its power structure.
In this particular video, you will see a confrontation between two groups of demonstrators: ordinary Brazilian citizens and card carrying union members from CUT (Unified Workers’ Central Union), the main national union center in the country, an organization that gives its full support to the government party. The anti-government protesters chant against the Workers’ Party, express their disgust and indignation at the Brazilian Left, and burn red flags, showing in deeds what they mean in their words: “This is Brazil, we don’t want any red flags here.”
Viewer discretion is advised, since Brazilians mince no words when they can finally say (and be heard) what they really want.
Note: This video has gone viral on Facebook among Brazilian users. I have tried to find the exact date and place where this protest took place but I have not been able to do it so far. It looks like this video footage was taken in 2013, in São Paulo, at the beginning of the wave of anti-Workers’ Party protests.
This post was written by Alessandro Cota, researcher at the Inter-American Institute for Philosophy, Government, and Social Thought.
When language becomes corrupt, mankind is out of touch with reality.In The Fourth Political Theory, Alexander Dugin says some profound things which need to be acknowledged (even by one who opposes his call for the destruction of the United States). “In political post-anthropology,” he writes, “all is reversed: leisure and work (the most serious occupation, actual work, is watching television shows), knowledge and ignorance…. Traditional male and female roles are reversed. Rather than being esteemed and experienced elders, politicians are chosen for their youth, glamour, appearance and inexperience. Victims become the criminals and vice versa….”
Dugin correctly sees that a kind of inversion has been taking place. And this inversion is fundamental. It is a symptom of mass transformation within the soul. Humanity, as it were, has two poles; and these poles are being disrupted, negated, and reversed. As odd as it may seem, when writing about the balance of power between the great bipolar actors (Russia and America), we are now accustomed to a denial of bipolarity which merely promises a reversal of this same polarity. This may have to do with mass neurosis and the denial of death, or it is the result of some black alchemical process.
Last week the U.S. Supreme Court validated gay marriage as a nationwide right. Setting aside the nonsense that passes for debate on both sides of this question, the thing that is most troubling is that marriage is now defined without regard for male and female. According to the most ancient spiritual teachings, gender is a universal principle having to do with regeneration. Only the union of male and female has regenerative significance. Justice Kennedy rejected this idea when he wrote: “In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves.”
But Mr. Justice Kennedy, the fulfillment of marriage is found in children. And as for Mr. Chief Justice Roberts, who argued that the court’s ruling was short-circuiting the democratic process, I am afraid that even a majority vote in favor of gay marriage does not make it possible for men to produce offspring without women. All that such rulings or votes can do is eliminate the previous definition of the word “marriage,” which my grandfather’s 1943 Webster’s International Dictionary defines thus:
marriage, n. 1. State of being married, or being united, to a person or persons of the opposite sex as husband or wife; also, the mutual relation of husband and wife; abstractly, the institution whereby men and women are joined in a special kind of legal dependence, for the purpose of founding and maintaining a family.
As you can see, the Supreme Court has violated the English language; that is, the Court has assumed a power that no government authority may safely assume. It is the most arbitrary power imaginable; for the Supreme Court may now say that “up” is “down,” and “black” is “white.” We cannot tell what such a court will do next; for it is now certain that no property is safe, no contract protected. Anything may happen. We are no longer ruled by laws, for laws are made of words and now, as of this moment, words are made of nothing, having no intrinsic meaning. They are sounds only, with meanings that may be politically assigned or reassigned. For that is what our Supreme Court has done, and in doing so, they have turned all law into gibberish. And this, I maintain, is the most dangerous thing of all. It is not only marriage that has been undermined. It is the state, the Constitution, the English language, and public sanity. This, in fact, is the same practice which shows up in the neutering of our military power and our economic power. It is a symptom of inner dissolution, a collapse of instinct, and a descent into anarchy. What I have been writing these many years has never been primarily about the threat from Russia or China. My writings have been about the progressive falsification of reality, national self-deception and the corruption which attends our social decline. I merely picked the most clearly suicidal elements in our national self-deception as principle themes. The same distorted language we use for referring to enemies as “partners” is here replicated in our use of the term “same-sex marriage.”
The enemies of America can see this. They revel in it, even though their own societies are riddled with perversion. The Russians were the first to be victimized by insane leaders. Lenin and Stalin were psychopaths who modeled the Russian state on their own mental disturbance. But Americans were never ruled by Lenin or Stalin. So what is our excuse? How have we come to something that is worse than Leninism or Stalinism? For the dictator’s wickedness is something we can relate to. It is an old story, going back to the Caesars. But an evil that inverts reality, that violates language and mocks foundational concepts, is not an evil that can be understood in the same way. Here is a spiritual perversion that brings us to the doorstep of the occult; to something unseen, to something connected with the black arts.
On the day of the fateful decision Justice Scalia noted: “What really astounds is the hubris reflected in today’s judicial Putsch. These Justices know that limiting marriage to one man and one woman is contrary to reason; they know that an institution as old as government itself, and accepted by every nation in history until 15 years ago, cannot possibly be supported by anything other than ignorance or bigotry. And they are willing to say that any citizen who does not agree with that, who adheres to what was, until 15 years ago, the unanimous judgment of all generations and all societies, stands against the Constitution.”
This new knowledge, which attacks the English dictionary, which attacks the foundation of legality itself, signifies the destruction of all law. The U.S. Supreme Court has committed an act of unfounding, of unraveling, of self-elimination. This act does not really speak to the issue of tolerance or intolerance for a particular minority. This act is only nominally about homosexuals. In fact, the gay community has been used as a political pawn to effect a kind of black alchemy. Now, at this point, any violence might be done to anyone. Each of the various “causes” may be activated against the others; for what restraint does the law now have? What reverence? What credibility? It has lost the sense of its own words, descending into madness itself.
There can be no justice when words are used in a perverse sense, when meanings can be inverted and the world turned on its head. No ideology can make a lie into truth. No special pleading will flip the earth on its axis. Universal Law always prevails. The nihilist who denies this law is a harbinger of his own destruction. The society that salutes this nihilist, who elevates him to the Supreme Court, who makes congresses and presidents out of his kind, cannot be saved.
This article was originally published at jrnyquist.com on June 29, 2015. The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute.
In an article published on FrontpageMag.com, Vladimir Tismaneanu, fellow of the Inter-American Institute, examines the recent popular demonstration against the Brazilian Workers’ Party and the São Paulo Forum.
In recent weeks and months, we have been flooded with news about the Syriza “miracle,” about how the Greek leftists will manage to pull the country out of the state of decay in which it languishes. The Greek Finance Minister was placed high on all pedestals of European and universal glory, as if he were John Maynard Keynes and Hegel himself combined into one. Propagandistic nonsense has reached its utmost peak. Too little or even nothing at all is said, however, about how the house of cards built by revolutionary Dilma Rousseff – a former combatant in the urban guerrilla organizations – is coming down. Mature and responsible, the country’s civil society is not the prisoner of leftist myths. It refuses to go on a wild goose chase, as it happens in so many other places.
Millions of people are out demonstrating, asking for president Dilma Rousseff’s resignation. The endemic corruption of the leftist regime is being denounced by the masses that have taken to the streets, but largely ignored by the media elites, which are connected to those neo-Bolshevik channels financially supported by the Putin autocracy and its friends. The Sao Paulo Forum with its radical exhortations continues its maneuvers of hypnotizing the public opinion. Lies abound, but are starting to not be believed anymore. Protesters are being slandered as “American agents”, “spies”, “fascists” etc. Yet, less people than ever buy into these slanders.
The hyper-corrupt bureaucracy of the Workers’ Party, so outrageously obvious during the World Cup in 2014, is coming face to face with a resurgent civil society. What is being foreshadowed, it seems, is a peaceful, non-violent revolution. Marxist revolutions are explosions of violence. But not the anti-totalitarian ones. It is now clear that millions of Brazilians feel the need to expose twaddle, nonsense, irresponsible foolishness, cynical demagoguery masquerading as a springboard for collective bliss.
Dilma and her crowd may not be Marxists in a traditional, strictly ideological sense, they accept and even profit from some liberal economic principles, but, when all is said and done, they still share, subliminally, the Marxist anti-capitalist and “anti-imperialist” revolutionary delusions, expectations, and fever. Therefore, their enduring affinities with the continental far left, including Hugo Chavez’s heir, Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.
The protests are directed against the acute institutional, social, economic, and moral crisis that has dramatically worsened over these past few months. I do not know if a revolution to the full extent of the term has begun crystallizing as of right now, but this is certainly a revolutionary situation as defined by Lenin himself: “Those at the top cannot govern by using the old methods, those at the bottom, the great masses, beyond social divisions, no longer accept them.”
A fool’s tongue is long enough to cut his own throat: in this case, a Marxist one turned upside down! The great historian Robert Conquest’s dream is gradually coming to life–a united front against radical fallacies. It is high time these chimeras were exposed for what they really are: myths, legends, delusions, fantasies of salvation, ideological fairytales with pernicious effects.
This essay was translated from Romanian into English by Monica Got, and published on FrontpageMag.com on March 26, 2015.
The anti-communist Brazilian writer and philosopher Olavo de Carvalho describes the advance of the world communist movement and what the free world, including the USA and Israel, can do to save their countries. “The United States is becoming Marxist,” he warns. Topics include (1) the Anti-American left,the Sao Paulo Forum, and the “collapse” of communism (2), cultural Marxism, the Frankfurt School, and homosexual rights, (3) Can Israel and Colombia be saved? (4) Pope Francis and world revolution (5) Russia’s role in the New World Order, and (6) the role of Christianity in saving the West.
In the context of the crisis in Ukraine, Jeffrey R. Nyquist, author of the book, Origins of the Fourth World War, and fellow of the Inter-American Institute for Philosophy, Government, and Social Thought (IAI) explains why German Chancellor Minister Angela Merkel was being monitored by NSA. Nyquist was interviewed by Cliff Kincaid from America’s Survival.
Olavo de Carvalho, President of the Inter-American Institute was interviewed by the editors of the Polish website Wydawnictwo Podziemme on Communism, Philosophy, and Brazil.
Wydawnictwo Podziemme: We would like to start with asking about the development of your political stance. It appears that as a very young man you flirted with communism (forgive this odd English spelling but we refuse to bestow the honour of capital letters on names as odious as bolshevik, soviet or communist). Then, disillusioned with politics, you immersed yourself in study of Philosophy and Art; and then again, in the early Nineties you turned to political subjects and thus found yourself threatened by lefties, which resulted in your leaving Brazil. Could you elaborate on circumstances and reasons for these changes?
Olavo: Even though my experience as a leftist militant was quite brief, the story of my change of position has extended over many decades. At the beginning, what made me withdraw myself from among the communists was not any objection of a political, ideological, or even philosophical order. It was a simple moral reaction against the mean and ugly behavior that I saw disseminated among them as a general rule. Those people seemed to arrogate to themselves the right to commit all villainies, provided that they were not committed against the Communist Party. When I imagined Brazil being governed by those individuals, I realized that my country would be far worse off than it was under the military dictatorship. As far as it was possible to infer a collective political conduct from the individual behavior of leaders and activists, I realized that Brazil under the communists would be up to its neck in ignominy and all sorts of crime committed under “nice” pretexts. Forty years later, all this turned out to be widely confirmed: the Lula administration got to be the most corrupt ever seen in Brazilian history at a time when Brazil was bleeding with 50 thousand murders per year without federal authorities paying any attention to that issue: they are busy sucking up tax-money and siphoning off federal funds for their personal and party interests. As I was saying, at that point in my life, I withdrew myself from among the communists because their conduct made me feel shame for them, but I did not attempt to develop any theoretical explanation either for what they were doing or for what I was feeling. I simply turned my attention to subject-matters that seemed to me to be healthier and more promising, especially Greek philosophy, high literature, and the study of religions.
Many decades later, my old companions of militancy had managed to take over the whole cultural establishment and to conquer political power. The outcome of this had been the thorough destruction of high culture, the reduction of universities to centers for communist propaganda, and the country’s descent to levels of moral degradation which would have seemed unthinkable before. Since among writers and journalists nobody seemed to even take notice of this alarming state of affairs, I began to take notes on the intellectual and moral decay of the country and to read them to my pupils in the courses that I taught and at conferences that I spoke at several institutions. When I put together all these notes in a book published as The Collective Imbecile, the whole thing had a bomb-like effect: for the first time, reputations that had been so far taken as sacrosanct were treated in my book with all the sarcastic contempt that they really deserved. The reactions that followed the publication of my book widely confirmed what I had been saying of the whole situation. I had some oral and written debates with outraged critics, who came out of the discussions even more discredited than they already were. When my book Aristotle in a New Perspective was published, some academic intellectuals decided to make a show of knowledge which they really never had and to make themselves look good by having a public discussion with me about a philosopher whose work they were completely ignorant about. They did pretty bad in the debate, and thanks to this succès de scandale, I ended up being hired as a columnist by a number of major Brazilian newspapers and magazines that were then looking for a right-wing voice, simply because they wanted to somewhat camouflage the leftist monopoly over their pages. I was not properly a right-winger but, in trying to clarify my points-of-view, I ended up drawing a kind of conservative political philosophy from my general philosophical opinions.
Wydawnictwo Podziemme: You stated in one of your interviews that the communist movement had never been, and never really wanted to be, monolithic. It is hard to disagree with this view; after all, Lenin spoke about different countries finding their own individual way to revolution. But let’s focus on the dynamic relationship between our perceptions and the reality of communist operations. For instance, it could be argued that during the momentous events of 1989-1991, the reverse was true. Individual com-parties, although acting independently, appeared to act in unison in a highly coordinated manner. At the same time, communism raised its ugly head in Latin America; whilst in Europe communists resurfaced as “democratic left”. Does this not imply an almost monolithic unity of purpose?
Olavo: The communist movement has never had much of an ideological unity, at least in the West. The movement’s chief characteristic was precisely that of being able to organize people and groups of the most diverse orientations into well-coordinated strategic actions—the movement has managed to manipulate even the social-democratic left, which is avowedly anti-communist. This is partly explained by the strength of the historical continuity of the Communist Party, the only organization capable of pressing into its service all minor and more fragmented movements. However, this is also explained by a factor that I designate as the formal unity of the revolutionary movement since the eighteenth or even the seventeenth century. Behind all variety of currents that compose it, the world revolutionary movement is unified by a kind of shared logic, a set of formal principles that internally shape the revolutionary speech in all of its versions. In innumerable articles and lectures, I believe I have sufficiently explained this formal unity and the strength of the more or less unconscious automatism through which it imposes itself upon generation after generation of revolutionaries, even when they disagree with one another. I believe I have also made evident that this set of rules makes the revolutionary mentality, as a whole, into a phenomenon of intellectual pathology which is very similar to that which the French psychiatrist Paul Sérieux described in his 1910 book Les Folies Raisonnantes (The Reasoning Madnesses).
Wydawnictwo Podziemme:You often mention the name of Antonio Gramsci, undoubtedly, one of the most important communist theoreticians, who perhaps deserves the name of father of contemporary Bolshevism. It might be difficult to make a direct link between Gramsci and the perestroika planners (apparently, Raisa Gorbacheva was a keen student of his writing, although it could be an apocryphal tale designed to boost her standing amongst the faithful). Nevertheless, it seems that his ideals are present in the minds of European commissars as well as amongst American politicians. Is it not the case though, that Gramsci’s thoughts found the most fertile ground in Latin America?
Olavo: You are right. Latin America was the only place where Antonio Gramsci’s strategy had been put into effect in a comprehensive and systematic manner for several decades until the expected results were achieved. In Brazil, for example, as early as the 1980’s, i.e. during the military dictatorship itself, the communists had already achieved complete cultural hegemony, a phenomenon to which the military did not pay much attention because they were exclusively obsessed with the “violent left.” When the military dictatorship came to an end, practically the whole country was already pro-communist without noticing it. That is to say, at that time, a group of communist and similar parties that gravitated around the Workers’ Party had already dominated the people’s imagination and the established cultural values in such a way that it would be no exaggeration to say that the strategic command of the revolution had already accomplished the Gramscian ideal of transforming itself into “an omnipresent and invisible authority of a categorical imperative, of a divine commandment.” When in the 2002 presidential election there was nothing but a simple contest for offices between four equally leftist candidates, and nobody in the media seemed to find anything odd about such phenomenon, this showed to what extent the hegemonic domination of people’s consciousness had rendered the public opinion docile to the leftist strategy.
Wydawnictwo Podziemme: From afar, Brazil looks like a model achievement of “demo-bolshevism”, the version of bolshevism, which conquers and holds on to power through the use of democratic institutions (Gramscian “march through institutions” springs to mind again). Strengthened by the stagecraft of democracy, this new bolshevism appears far more dangerous than the classic totalitarian version. Thanks to some extraordinary spinning and brilliant propaganda techniques, the modern embodiment of bolshevism is hard to recognize even for seasoned political observers. The world media described the Brazilian election as a runoff between the neoliberals (Dilma Rousseff) and the right wing (José Serra) when to our eyes these two look like dye-in-the-wool red party apparatchiks. How do you see the current situation in Brazil?
Olavo: Substantive democracy requires much more than the mere existence of parties and free elections. Above all, it requires free circulation of information, which is impossible under Gramscian conditions of cultural hegemony. Just for you to be able to assess the difference between one thing and the other, suffice it to notice that in 2000, when I was hired to write for O Globo newspaper, one of the most prestigious of Brazil, my presence on the pages of that publication was regarded as something of an oddity because I was the only right-wing voice among hundreds of left-wing columnists. When I say “the only,” I am not speaking figuratively: “the only” has a merely arithmetic meaning in this sentence. “The only” really means “the single one”. And not only were my opinions in sharp contrast to those of all the other columnists, but, likewise, they were in contrast to the general tenor of the news, which emphasized facts that were most convenient to the left, and completely concealed everything that was of no interest to the leftist parties. For example, during 16 years, not only O Globo, but the whole of the Brazilian mainstream media, concealed from the public the existence of the São Paulo Forum, the strategic command of the Latin American communist revolution and the largest political organization that has ever existed in the continent. I, of course, spoke about it in my columns, but since no factual confirmation ever appeared on the news pages, it was easy for interested leftist leaders to deny even the mere existence of the Forum, which thus could grow up in silence until it managed to take over twelve countries. Then, sure of itself, the Forum publicly admitted its own existence, confirming everything that I had been saying about it, but doing so in such a tardy manner that it was no longer possible to attempt any reaction against the growing of that monster. The expression that you employ, “demo-bolshevism,” is perfect, for the prevailing communist forces managed to dominate the flux of information so efficiently that they even permitted themselves the luxury of having free elections, since voters were completely ignorant about the real political situation and, for this same reason, became perfectly harmless.
Wydawnictwo Podziemme: In your Weapons of Freedom essay, you discuss two interesting and somehow correlated phenomena. On the one hand, we constantly have to deal with old-fashioned, often inadequate concepts such as “national state”, “international relations”, “free trade”, “democracy”, “imperialism” or “class struggle”; on the other, we come across scientific methods of control and manipulation of human beings. However, whilst the remnants of the free world struggle with outdated notions, they fall victim to the latest methods of social sciences; at the same time, the representatives of the new totalitarianism are very astute in dealing with both areas. They tend to use both the obsolete concepts and most recent psychological discoveries with aplomb – to their own ends. Is it possible that the traditionalist world of simple human dignity and decency is doomed when confronted by the bolshevik plague?
Olavo: If supporters of democracy and human dignity do not get urgently updated on opinion control and social engineering methods that are being used by totalitarian movements, the whole mankind will be at risk of falling under the dominion of a fierce and broad-grinned tyranny that will easily be taken as democracy. Both the social sciences and psychology have placed in the hands of the most cynical and ambitious men all the instruments they need to impose totalitarian power without the masses having the slightest inkling of what is really going on. Among the most important books for understanding this phenomenon are Pascal Bernardin’s Machiavel Pédagogue (Machiavel The Educator), Alexander Zinoviev’s The Reality of Communism, and Lee Penn’s False Dawn. There are many other equally good books, but the reading of these three is more than enough for you to grasp the range and the efficacy of the instruments to which I refer.
Wydawnictwo Podziemme: One of the commentators under your interview published on The New American site wrote in March this year: “Thank you Olavo for your clear vision and for state it outside our country (Brasil). I have a question though: how to build a new right from scratch? It will need not only knowledge but also an incredible strategic effort… […] I mean, I’m a father and a honest hard working citizen that want to do something at least to give my children some hope for the future. What would be a play for ordinary people like me on this matter?” Let us expand your compatriot’s question: what is to be done?
Olavo: Though many millennia-old, Sun Tzu’s formula is still valid: know your enemy better than he knows himself. Attack him at his blind spots. Bewilder him, intimidate him, and put him to flight. It is important to remember that I am not talking about fighting a battle of ideas, of doctrines, but about fighting a battle against concrete groups and individuals, a battle for power. And power, in the first place, does not mean holding elective offices. It means having dominion over people’s imagination and feelings. By discussing ideas with agents of totalitarianism, we do nothing but give them a dignity that they do not really have, and even if we defeat them in the realm of argumentation, we end up reinforcing the power they enjoy. What we need to do is to render visible all their inner ugliness, their intrinsically criminal mentality. As long as revolutionary mentality is accepted as one respectable opinion among others, we will make crime a normal, acceptable, and even prestigious behavior.
Olavo de Carvalho is the President of The Inter-American Institute and Distinguished Senior Fellow in Philosophy, Political Science, and the Humanities.
The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute. The original answers for the interview were translated from the Portuguese by Alessandro Cota in November 2010.