Olavo de Carvalho

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Olavo de Carvalho, 2019

Olavo Luiz Pimentel de Carvalho (29 April 1947 – 24 January 2022), better known as Olavo de Carvalho, was a Brazilian essayist whose interests included historical philosophy, the history of revolutionary movements, Kremlinology, the traditionalist school, comparative religion, psychology, and philosophical anthropology. He was known in Brazil for his conservative political stance, and for being a critic of the political Left.


  • As a young man, Bill Clinton was one of thousands of leftist students who benefited from KGB funds, earning one of those trips to the USSR which were the preferred means for the recruitment of Soviet agents in the universities of the West. In the 60s, that would be deterrent enough for any application for town mayor of the interior. In the 90s, after three decades of Gramscian cultural revolution, the dangerous links did not prevent Clinton from being elected US president with the support of the American Communist Party. Thanks to a well-calculated "politically correct" speech, the new ruler became an idol of the left, which moved heaven and earth to keep him in office despite a range of charges, including sexual frivolities, financial imbroglios and a multitude of small Watergates, including something perfectly serious and terrifying: the suspicion of favoring Chinese nuclear espionage. The well-thinking press resisted any investigation of the matter.
  • The largest funder of the campaign for the liberation of drugs is George Soros, who also subsidizes pro-terrorist and disarmament organizations (a wonderful combination) and nurtures the modest ambition of becoming the informal president of the world. He has already bought land in Bolivia, where, once legal barriers are removed, you have everything to be the biggest supplier of raw materials to the FARC.
  • If you are a conservative, you think that a citizen has no right to hire another to kill him (much less to kill a third party), because life is a sacred gift that cannot be negotiated. But for the liberal, there is nothing more sacred than the right to buy and sell - even life itself: if you think your life sucks and want to hire a professional to put an end to it, neither the State nor the Church have the right to give the slightest opinion.
  • Meanwhile, from our federal government, there was a plan of the National Council of Public Security to resolve the worst and most urgent problem, which is the number of homicides in Brazil, for which we are already in the first place. The first place belonged to Russia, but we are now, with our 50,000 homicides a year, first. Russia has whatever, 42. Russia still was a little bit ahead, but we've got 50. Not saying it's 50, it is 49,999. So we are record-breakers. I already told you, our students take the last places on international tests, and we practice more homicides. Then it is not wrong to conclude: The Brazilian is the dumbest and most murderous of people in the universe!
  • It is a natural impulse of human beings to evade the narrowness of personal and family routine to venture into the wider universe of history, where you feel that your life is transcendent and get a higher "sense". The most banal and clumsy way to do it, accessible even to the poor, incapable and rogue is the militancy in a party or a "cause", that is, in some group embellished with pompous words like "freedom", "equality", "justice", "patriotism", "morality" or "human rights". These words can represent any substantive value, but not when the individual acquires from them all the value they may have, rather than filling them with his own personal substance. The most criminal illusion of modernity was to persuade men that they can be noble by identifying with a "cause", when in fact all causes, while names of abstract values, only acquire concrete value by the nobility of men who represent them. The bottom of degradation is achieved when some "causes" are so valued that they seem to infuse virtues automatically in any bum, fake or bandit who agrees to represent them.
  • In Brazil, it goes like this: communists only read communist authors, (economic) liberals only read liberal authors and so on. Each one is afraid of tarnishing their little soul with sinful thoughts. In order for someone to speak with some propriety about the communist movement, they must have previously studied the following things:
  1. The classics of Marxism: Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao Zedong.
  2. The most important Marxist philosophers: Lukács, Korsch, Gramsci, Adorno, Horkheimer, Marcuse, Lefebvre, Althusser.
  3. Main Currents of Marxism, by Leszek Kolakowski.
  4. Some good history and sociology books about the revolutionary movement in general, such as Fire in the Minds of Men, by James H. Billington, The Pursuit of the Millenium, by Norman Cohn, The New Science of Politics, by Eric Voegelin.
  5. Good books on the history of communist regimes written from a non-apologetic point of view.
  6. Books by the most famous critics of Marxism, like Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, Ludwig von Mises, Raymond Aron, Roger Scruton, Nicolai Berdiaev and so many others.
  7. Books about the communist strategy and tactics on their rise to power, about the underground activities of the movement in the West and chiefly about the "active measures" (disinformation, agents of influence), like those by Anatolyi Golitsyn, Christopher Andrew, John Earl Haynes, Ladislaw Bittman, Diana West.
  8. The largest number possible of testimonies by former communist agents and militants who recall their experience in service of the movement or communist governments, such as Arthur Koestler, Ian Valtin, Ion Mihai Pacepa, Whittaker Chambers, David Horowitz.
  9. High-value testimonies about human condition in socialist societies, like those by Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Vladimir Bukovski, Nadiejda Mandelstam, Alexander Soljenítsin, Richard Wurmbrand.
This is a reading program that can be accomplished in four or five years by a good student. I do not know, either in the Brazilian right or left, anyone, absolutely anyone, who has accomplished it.
Estudar antes de falar, Diário do Comércio, 13 August 2013

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