lunedì 3 ottobre 2016

"Do you be a Communist?"

São Paulo, December 05, 2014 at 00:00 by Olavo de Carvalho

The deceased Jean Mellé, founder and director of "Notícias Populares", which would become a classic of the sc,andal journalism, was a Romanian refugee who had solid reasons to hate Communism. Large and musclebound, occasionally he grabbed one of his subordinates by the throat, and, with a fierce look of grand inquisitor, he asked: "Do you be a Communist?". If the answer was "No", he felt satisfied.

Ninety percent of the cases, the respondent was a member of the Party and went out laughing at the boss whose menacing power is neutralized himself with a pathetic amount of ingenuity.

In fact, Mellé was no way a naive. He knew backwards the slippery ambiguity of the conduct of the Communists. He had no illusion that they walked with hammer and sickle stamped on their foreheads or that they would declare gladly their ideological identity. He contented himself with a brief answer only because he did not master the national language enough to lengthen the discussion. He just wanted to instill a little fear in the hearts of the communists, and he got it. They avenged with forced giggles that spread the myth of the simple-minded opponent, a silly big guy that even children could deceive. They lied, and they lied about the lie: they concealed their party affiliation and they pretended they had managed to hoodwink "the right". The satisfaction whose they indulged in this venture ended up impregnating in their minds, transforming the occasional faking into a complete hysterical symptomatology and the self-deception in a permanent lifestyle.

After half a century, the communist movement still has in Brazilian journalism an army of loyal employees whose usual and almost only persuasive tactic is to invent a ridiculously simple-minded version of communism, assign it to the right-wing and, demolishing it with two or three not funny jokes, to declare victory, thus being proved that communism does not exist, it is just a paranoid fantasy of rabid rightists. It is the good old eristic "straw man" resource, which in these people has become a second nature.

Some of the practitioners of this silly magic are seasoned men, trained in Havana and Prague. The most obvious proof of the power they have acquired in newsrooms is the naturality with which internship periods in centers of propaganda and misinformation in the Iron Curtain come into their curricula as evidence of "journalistic experience", as if the technique to lie was the very same thing than the one to report the facts. It is obvious that, at least in the old days, many of these gentle creatures were paid agents of communist secret services. Their names, delayed half a century, are being gradually revealed by the documents filed in Prague in the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes (see and

Others, younger, did not need to travel to get the tricks of communist prose. They learned them right here, at journalism colleges which gentlemen mentioned in the previous paragraph turned into militancy training centers at least since the 70s of last century.

The first sign that you are smart is your ability to perceive that someone else is more intelligent. Mutatis mutandis, the first sign of stupidity is to assume, always, that the other is dumber than is. In this consists the eristic rhetorical artifice I referred to: the person defines communism in the most simple-minded and mechanically manner and, arguing that this communism does not exist (as indeed it can not exist), concludes that all anti-communism is a mental illness, source of violence and "hate crimes".

The definition used in this trick is as follows: Communism is the complete, sudden and ostentatious statization of means of production and all private property. The governor takes the microphone and announces, "Look at here, people, I'm a communist. Now who rules this crap is the communism. You, deliver your properties, or you will go to the Gulag." For guys like Mr. Jô Soares and other enlightened heads guiding the national thought, the fact that it never happened is the conclusive proof that the communist threat is merely a fabrication created to justify a coup d'état or something worse.

In contrast to this shoddy doublespeak, let us see what is the true communism, in its theory and in its practice all around the world.

Karl Marx taught that the statization of the means of production - the initial stage of the construction of the socialism - would be a complex process that should be extended for many decades or centuries, and it could not even begin before the capitalist means of production reached its maximum possible development.

The last thing a communist governor must do - especially if he came to power by the usual democratic paths and without bloodshed - is, so, to go away statizing everything, dismantling the capitalist class. It's the opposite: he should help the capitalists to earn the maximum money they can, while he deposes them their means of political and ideological action. The capitalist role in this stage of socialism is to make money and not to opine, becoming much so much prosperous as much as more politically innocuous and subservient to the communist ruling elite. Lured by easy profits, capitalists will transfer the communists all their ideological power, so that, in relatively short time, four things happen:

(1) In a full regime of capitalist prosperity, there are only communist ideas in circulation. In a more overt or more covert manner, communist propaganda becomes the only current discourse in society. Competing ideas disappear to the point of becoming unthinkable. They remain, at best, as vague myths of other epoches. One last bit of "capitalist ideology" remains in the air, reduced to advocacy of economic efficiency, whose communists would be the last to deny.

(2) Wealth ceases to be a means of independent political action and reduces itself to an instrument of communist propaganda. Each capitalist spends lots of money electing communist and financing the hatred against capitalism.

(3) To have a huge bank account gives less power than a Party membership card or any public office. The political-ideological power is transferred from the bourgeoisie to the party elite without capitalist property to suffer any visible scratch.

(4) The communists, for their part, can both to boast of being the absolute rulers of the situation and to continue to make themselves as helpless victims of the bourgeoisie. They go from the threatening speech to tears of self-pity with ease, and the incoherence itself of their attitude serves to further bewilder their opponent.

At this stage, there is not economic war. This is not about to take the property of the bourgeois, but to deprive them of their means of ideological self-defense.

This is the program that the PT (Workers' Party) government has been fulfilling to the letter, this is the real and genuine communist scheme. It is not a straw man, much less it's a threat: it is the reality we live in.

"Você estar comunisto?", Olavo de Carvalho, Diário do Comércio, December 05, 2014, and

Translation: Abigail Pereira Aranha

Questo testo in italiano in Men of Worth Newspaper: "Tu stare comunisto?",
Questo testo in italiano in Periódico de Los Hombres de Valía: "Tu stare comunisto?",
Ce texte en français au Men of Worth Newspaper: "Être-tu communiste?",
Ce texte en français au Periódico de Los Hombres de Valía: "Être-tu communiste?",
Eso texto en español en Men of Worth Newspaper: "¿Tú estar comunisto?",
Eso texto en español en Periódico de Los Hombres de Valía: "¿Tú estar comunisto?",
This text in English at Men of Worth Newspaper: "Do you be a Communist?",
This text in English at Periódico de Los Hombres de Valía: "Do you be a Communist?",
Texto original em português com atalho para o texto original no A Vez das Mulheres de Verdade: "Você estar comunisto?",
Texto original em português com atalho para o texto original no A Vez dos Homens que Prestam: "Você estar comunisto?",

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