OLAVO DE CARVALHO
Época, June 16, 2001
Translated by Assunção Medeiros
The stronger communism becomes in Brazil, less can we
talk about it
Never have so many and such good books about communism been published in the world as in these years that followed the dismantling of the URSS. The reason is obvious: the opening, even if partial, of the Files of the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party, a never-ending treasure for the scholars. It is not amazing that, the barrier of state secret being broken, so many investigators throw themselves into these registers of a dark past to decipher what certainly was one of the greatest mysteries of Human History: the voluntary genuflection of millions of cultured men before the altar of a grotesque, assassin and intrinsically absurd doctrine.
All the paradoxes, all the contradictions of the human soul press and fuse together in the composition of this mystery of iniquity; to understand it so we do not have to relive it is the number one duty of whomever has assimilated Socrates’ lesson, according to which “a life that has not been examined is not worthy of being lived”.
But the amazing thing is not the international wave of curiosity that turned Moscow into historian’s Mecca. It’s the absolute lack of interest that, in Brazil, opposes itself to the divulging of these discoveries.
Faster than thought, in the beginning of the nineties, communism was decreed a thing of the past in Brazil. Whoever had any interest in reminding its crimes and atrocities became suspect of Macarthist fanaticism, or even of monomaniac obsession worthy of psychiatric care. To forget, to silence – or rather, at best, dismiss the matter with half a dozen clichés accepted as the definitive explanation – became a natural law to which only the abnormal could escape from.
But I say that abnormal is a mind capable of judging mere coincidence the fact that this decade of forgetfulness was also the one of greatest expansion of communist influence over the destinies of the country.
I am not referring only to the electoral growth of the left. I refer to the conquest of the monopoly of political preaching in schools (where today the hypothesis of an anticommunist discourse is today inconceivable) and to the consolidation of certain acquired moral rights that are ostensibly denied to the rest of the population.
An openly violent communist movement is accepted today as a partner of the State, without the need even of legal registration. Communist politicians can associate to drug-dealing organizations without ever being investigated. Communist groups can block at will the freeways without anyone seeing in this the obvious exercise in insurrection training it is.
Ostensibly supported by the government, the communists put themselves above the law and besides that detain the almost complete monopoly of the means to investigate, denounce, judge, and condemn. Even before they nominally occupy governmental power, they already are a special class, an omnipotent, arrogant, and intolerant nomenklatura. As consequence, the simple act of writing some articles against them became an insult, a threat, and an unbearable abuse.
This is the reason of the lack of interest I referred to. There is a direct connection of cause and effect between the wordless prohibition of looking at the past and the lightning speed with which it repeats itself before millions of ignorant eyes that, not having known it, cannot recognize it. Communism is “out of fashion” as the clothes that move out of the catwalks to enter general daily use. It was simply needed to keep it out of the horizon of national consciousness so that, without being bothered by inquisitive eyes, it could grow on the shadow of the general indifference of its victims.
That is exactly why I interpret as opposite the inhibiting counsel that recommend that I speak less of communism to look less crazy or fanatic. Before the great tragedy that prepares itself, only a morbidly intimidated observer would abstain from touching the subject not to give the impression he is seeing things. And, honestly, it is not worth it to let yourself go crazy for mere obsession of looking normal.