O Globo, March 31, 2001

Translated by Assunção Medeiros

When someone tells me that communism is a thing of the past, that to warn against it is like beating up a dead horse, I sometimes have the suspicion that I am speaking with a villain. Not that that particular fellow is necessarily a villain. But, in fact, only a villain would let 1,2 billion people that still live under the communist tyranny pass as a negligible amount, an infinitesimal quantity in the infinite. Only a villain would disregard as irrelevant the 40 monthly executions of Chinese women (and their doctors) that refused to practice abortion. Only a villain would persuade himself that, only because half a dozen of American companies are making money in Peking (as if they hadn’t already made a bunch in Lenin’s Russia), communism became as harmless as a stuffed toy rhino. Only a villain would pretend to ignore that, after the dissolution of the URSS, no KGB agent was fired, much less punished, and that the greatest instrument of espionage, of political police, of state terror and of institutionalized torture that ever existed in the universe, with a budget bigger than all the western secret services combined, continues to work as if nothing had happened.

Only a villain would induce people to ignore these things so that, when the revolution that is being prepared in Brazil with money from drug dealing comes to power, no one realizes they are reliving the tragedy of Russia, China, and Cuba.

For we do not have to look abroad, all we have to do is look at Brazil itself to see the monstrous power that the communist movement, whatever name you give it – for along its history it changed names many times according to its interests of the time – has been acquiring day after day. Only as an example, the diffusion of communist ideas in schools, of which many Brazilians are not even aware of, and that others insist in ignoring on purpose (among them our Minister of Education), has already moved from the simple “indoctrination” stage to the more direct and frank rape of consciousness. In thousands of public schools, teachers paid by taxpayer money are using their influence and their power not only to install the cult of genocidal leaders and the myth of socialist democracy, but also to intimidate and punish any child that does not agree to repeat their teacher’s discourse. The slightest divergence, sometimes a single doubt, subjects the student to embarrassment in front of the class, placing in him the fear for the future of his academic and professional life. My own children have gone through this, and I receive monthly dozens of emails with similar reports. Calling this “propaganda”, “indoctrination”, is terminological euphemism by someone that does not want to be aware of the gravity of the situation. And the situation is such that psychological terrorism has already imposed its domination over children’s hearts, preparing them to accept, as a normal, inevitable and even a good thing, a government of assassins and psychopaths like the one still in power in Cuba and the one that is already installed in the regions under the domination of the Farc.

In face of that, Brazilians react… covering up facts with words, blunting the conscience with soporiferous clichés, exhibiting that air of pretense calm that betrays the fear, the panic of facing reality. Will I say this is naiveté? No. Naiveté has nothing of the verbal shrewdness required for such self-deceit.

A reader, all puffed up with false science, writes to me saying that communism was no more violent than the religious wars, than the Holy Office, than the burning of witches or the Night of S. Bartolomeu. With that air of “papa knows it all” of an elementary school teacher, he mentions the horror of Montaigne before the cruelty of the civil wars of his time, and concludes that “violence was always present in all the different stages of history”. Nothing like a catch phrase to make a Brazilian shine, saying things he does not understand. Nothing like a beautiful cliché to level, in a uniform verbal paste, the most prodigious differences. The Spanish Inquisition, the cruelest tribunal that was ever heard of before the 20th century, killed 20 thousand people along four centuries. The Leninist government did the same in just a few weeks. Furthermore, all the examples of mass cruelty observed along History happened because of wars against other states, other tribes or other religious groups. The Soviet repression was the first case of permanent statal violence against unarmed civilians, in a time of peace. The example proliferated. When the Germans started sending the Jewish to Auschwitz, 20 million Russians had already been killed by the Soviet government. Even at the end of this macabre work, in 1945, Nazism, with all of the genocidal structure set up for this intent, was not able to equal the productivity of the Soviet death industry.

Under whatever aspect we examine, socialism is in no way a decent idea, which could be discussed calmly as a viable alternative for a country, or one that can – without committing a crime of intellectual pedophilia – be inoculated in school children.  It is a hideous, macabre doctrine, not the least bit better than nazi ideology, and that, in a paroxysm of cynicism, dares to cry out in the name of morals, when it condemns acts of excess and violence that are much smaller, and that its adversaries committed in the zeal of stopping its homicidal march of devourer of peoples and continents.

As soon as we accept the infernal logic of its propaganda, we will darken our intelligence, lose our sense of truth and our sense of proportions. We will even lose the sense of before and after. They inoculate in us, for instance, the notion that the Brazilian guerrilla was the only way out that was given them by the repressive government that, in March 31, 1964, closed all the doors to legal opposition. But how can this be, if the guerrilla started in 1961, always directed from and financed by Cuba? They tell us that “Operation Condor” was an international conspiracy among dictatorships, to suffocate pacifist and democratic movements. But how can this be, if such operation only came to be later, in response to a three-continent armed movement, directed from Havana and financed by soviet money? Before the lessons of the socialist masters, we unlearn even the instinctive sense of the temporal order of facts.

Believing in these people, even for a brief instant, is to dismantle our own brain, is to destroy in our souls the ability to make even the most elementary and self-evident distinctions. That is why I do not have any patience left with people who consent that their children be subject to this kind of stupefaction. For a while, I imagined that they were only idiots, cowards or sluggards. But idiocy, cowardice and laziness have limits: after a certain point, they are transformed in the finer and most subtle modality of villainy.