Reason or empty chatter: it’s your choice

 by Don Hank

Jesus and Stalin’s Dove” is another English-language debut of a column by Olavo de Carvalho to appear at Laigle’s Forum. It is an article about courageously facing reality in a Christian sense – what that means on a cognitive level and the sacrifices needed to be intellectually honest.

In today’s second column by Mr. de Carvalho “The demolition of conscience,” Mr. de Carvalho discusses “cognitive dissonance,” a recurrent theme of his. The term generally means the uncomfortable entertaining of conflicting ideas simultaneously. However, it goes deeper than that.

In our society, shaped by elitists diametrically opposed to traditional American thought, we see cognitive dissonance manifested as a conflict between what we see and hear (what we actually know) on the one hand and what the elitists – largely through media, “education” and government – impose on us (what we are supposed to “know”).

I witnessed a frightening illustration of cognitive dissonance in my hometown in 2008 and 2009, when record late frosts hit and none of the local papers carried the story either year. Obviously, this actual hard, cold fact would have conflicted with the theory of global warming and that was too risqué for the media. But even townspeople I met and spoke with as the frost still lay on the ground were strangely mum when I mentioned that in my 60+ years of life, I had never seen a frost this late in the year. They knew it was true – undeniably so — on the experiential level, but on a social level, they knew that to acknowledge this truth would be improper, even to the point of blasphemy. Gradually, over the years, they had been successfully programmed like Pavlov’s dogs, and I made them uncomfortable – even scared — just mentioning it. Some were willing to discuss it, but others looked and acted guilty, as if the acknowledgement of what we all could see with our own eyes was a shameful sin. In fact it was a sin — a sin against the leftwing establishment that needed the myth of global warming for its agenda: cap-and-trade, carbon credits, tougher emissions limits, etc.

You see, it is no exaggeration to say that Western society is mentally ill, suffering from a virulent kind of neurosis that is refractory to treatment. We need large, frequent doses of therapy. Not psychological, but philosophical therapy.

Olavo de Carvalho’s writings are all, in one way or another, valuable therapy sessions. Each one undoes a little bit of our distorted preconceptions, like untying a convoluted knot.

Over the years in which I have had the unique privilege of reading, translating and performing translation reviews of his writings, Olavo de Carvalho has gradually convinced me that the study of philosophy – a tool for analyzing thought – is by no means just a luxury item. It is in fact the key to the cage in which our minds are confined by our keepers.

Without this intellectual tool, while most of us can make noises — ranging from incoherent to vaguely cogent – in order to generally express anger, pain, frustration and anguish, and while some observers can even manage to sound authoritative at times, we can’t hope to fully articulate what it is we believe, what we desire, what we should love and what we should hate, who are our friends and who are our enemies, and what sacrifices must be made to preserve our American way of life for our children. We speak of peace when we mean war, of war when we mean peace. Of morality when we mean evil, and so on. We’ve been seduced by the “chatter,” to use de Carvalho’s word for it.

This lack of thinking skills to know with certainty, and of language skills to articulate with unfaltering conviction, what we want and why is at the heart of our malaise and of the destructive infighting among conservative Americans. And it’s the reason so few pundits today can define America’s goals well enough to steer us away from the perilous shoals.

Is “gay marriage” a historical imperative?

by Don Hank

According to expert testimony before the House in 1963, the 26th of the “Current Communist Goals” was:

26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as “normal, natural, healthy.”

My recent response to the court decision by a homosexual judge in California supposedly making any ban on “gay marriage” unconstitutional received a deluge of of responses, including some expressing gay rage at my refusal to accept the use of the word “marriage” appied to same-sex relationships. (Check out the comments section under the article “Same-sex marriage? There’s no such thing”).

Some suggested I was a Nazi, others a bigot, still others a hater. It was the same old Gramscian tactics that the Left has used for over 100 years, showing an almost complete lack of reflection and no palpable originality.

In the last comment, a poster, who calls himself a “Christian” and apparently wants to pass as a “conservative,” said:

“Of course, the rest of society has moved on [emphasis added], and we pretty much look at them [anyone opposing ‘gay marriage’] with a mixture of pity and revulsion, but hey, it is their right.”

So the work of a single judge activist is proof that “society has moved on”?

In fact the people of California, arguably the most liberal state in the nation, voted for Proposition 8, which makes “gay marriage” illegal. So what is going on?

Let me try to explain.

This activist is portraying “gay” marriage as a historical imperative.

Hegel’s concept of the historical imperative found its first application in communism by the founders of that ideology. It is an example of the Left’s inversion of all things. If you are an ordinary person, you look at history objectively in logical chronological sequence, from past to present. Not the Leftist. He sees history’s starting point in the future utopia that he imagines. For him, all recorded history must meet one criterion: It must show unequivocally that all of history is marching toward a great egalitarian revolution, where all are equal. It is inevitable and the history books must be revised to reflect this “fact.” “Gay marriage” is an important stepping stone in the quest for this revolutionary “equality” or “social justice.”

But do utopians really ever bring about equality and social justice?

The Soviet Union, Cuba, China, North Korea, all reflect the opposite. There, the leaders pursued lifestyles of great opulence, living in palaces and feasting daily as the masses either starved or lived hand to mouth. In the Ukraine, under Stalin, for example, at least 10 million were killed, mostly by starvation. Still more were starved to death in China under Mao.

The closer any country comes to the dreamed-of “Utopia,” the further from equality it gets.

Of course, the above examples are restricted to the hardline communists, who, thanks to the unlimited power they enjoyed, had no need to use victim groups to get votes. But the same principle applies to soft Marxism of the kind that prevails in Europe and the US, where interest groups (like homosexuals) are seen as crucial to acquiring power. You need only look at Michelle Obama’s taxpayer-funded trip to Spain or Nancy Pelosi’s fabulously expensive taxpayer-funded airliner to see that the Western world is destined for an impoverishment of the middle class that may rival — or even exceed — that of hardline communist nations. You will get even poorer and the politically well-placed will get wealthy beyond measure. Our world financial and economic crises are a result of wealth distribution under “soft” Marxism. Yet our elites continue to borrow for ineffective Keynesian “stimulus” programs that transfer the wealth of the middle class to rich bankers, and will continue to do so as long as we close our eyes to the unconstitutionality of this plundering of our resources. (The elites confuse us by reminding that the “conservative” G.W. Bush also promoted such practices as lending to the insolvent and “stimulus” programs. Recruiting false conservatives into the Marxist game plays a key role in the subterfuge. “Conservative” Prime Minister David Cameron is playing this role in the UK, where he promised voters to hold a referendum on EU membership and then reneged on that promise. And in case you missed it, the “conservative”Ann Coulter has recently taken her place in the ranks of the cultural Marxist campaign, promoting “gay marriage,” thereby ensuring her place in a leftward-evolving GOP).

In other words, the “historical imperative” that the above-quoted homosexual activist alludes to, and his disdain for counter-revolutionary traditionalists like me (regarding conservatives with “pity and revulsion”), are a sign of a great inequality that is to come, one that is cynically expected to be a utopia.

Let me further clarify: The homosexual agenda we see proceeding apace before us is not, on the surface, the kind of economic Marxism we saw (or see) in Russia, China, North Korea, Cambodia, Cuba, etc. It is something more subtle and insidious but with the same intent – namely, Fabian Marxism, which is a stealth revolution that is intended to eventually usher in economic Marxism later on once power is consolidated in the hands of the Left. Now if this “historical imperative” – the inevitability of the Marxist revolution – were possible, then the question is: why did it not happen a long time ago?

The first known Utopian screed appeared almost 2,500 years ago. It was written by none less than Plato. The first Utopian experiment was in 4th Century Persia and it failed ignominiously for the same reason all such experiments fail: no one wanted to work.

There were utopian movements from the 13th Century on in the Dark Ages and on through the Renaissance and beyond. They played crucial roles in the great wars of the time. All of them failed.

The French Revolution touted égalité, among other things. It follows that today’s France is very accepting of same-sex “marriage.” Yet today, there is scarcely a more economically skewed society, with government employees receiving vastly  more income and perks than workers in the private economy. And, of course, as in all “egalitarian” Utopias, there is a vanishing trend in work performed by this privileged class, while the less-fortunate private-economy workers earn less and less in terms of real wages, corrected for cost of living.

It is quite possible that eventually, the masses will be dumbed-down and propagandized to the point of no return, relinquishing the little freedom that remains, and learn to accept the unacceptable. A quick look at the sociocultural reality of Europe is a glimpse of our future, barring unforeseen circumstances.

But if past revolutions are a viable indicator, then the activists themselves will be the main recipients of the unintended consequences of their own actions.

Already, the first “gay” divorces have been examples of wealth redistribution, with the richer of the 2 being forced to relinquish a significant proportion of their income and property to the other.

It is to be expected that some of these “beneficiaries” of the homosexual revolution will eventually look back longingly at the days of traditional marriage and its defenders.

I for one will be looking at them not with revulsion, but with pity.

America, the dark continent

Curtain of darkness

Olavo de Carvalho
Diário do Comércio, January 15th, 2009

What is happening in the American news media is terrifying for those who can see through it. Exaggeration? Conspiracy theory? A recent example will allow you to judge for yourself and draw your own conclusions.

When Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was accused of attempting to sell Obama’s Senate seat, the first question that came to the mind of police authorities was whether the President-elect had partnered with him or at least was aware of what was going on. There was no hiding the question, not only because it came directly from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, but also because, a few weeks earlier, one of the main Obamist campaign aides, David Axelrod, had mentioned in an interview a recent meeting between Obama and governor Blagojevich. Obama’s reassuring reply came right away, after, according to him, a thorough internal investigation, and was promptly trumpeted by the media as the final solution to the riddle: No, not even Obama himself, nor any member of his team had had any contact whatsoever with Blagojevich. Axelrod was quick to confirm it, swearing that his first declaration had been just a slip-up. With that, the media announced en bloc, to the general relief of the believers, that Blagojevich’s fall did not in any way stain the anointed Messiah’s honor.

Displeased with such a facile clarification, the non-profit organization Judicial Watch subpoenaed Blagojevich, under the Freedom of Information Act, to disclose all official records of any recent contact between the governor and Barack Obama or any member of his team. What came in response was astounding, to say the least: a letter written on the Presidential Transition Team’s letterhead, signed personally by Barack Obama, in which he thanked Blagojevich for the meeting they had had in Philadelphia on December 2, only a week before the Illinois governor was arrested. Even worse: not only had Obama and Blagojevich taken part into the conversation, but so had Vice-President-elect Joe Biden. The document can be read at http://www.judicialwatch.org/documents/2009/BlagojevichFOIAresponse122408.pdf.

It is full and official proof that Obama lied.

Well, do you know how many newspapers have publicized that so far? None. How many TV news programs?  None. Complete silence, total protection of the darling’s image. No matter how many documents are made public, no matter how many facts are unveiled and thoroughly proved, no matter how many crimes and misdemeanors he might have committed, not a single word against Obama will be read or heard in the elegant media. The abyss between news and reality has become immeasurable, insurmountable. With crushing unanimity, reporters, editors and commentators lie, conceal, obfuscate, change the subject and, with shocking cynicism, laugh at anyone who tries to do journalism the old fashioned way, the fact-and-document journalism, whose days are numbered, surviving only on the internet and talk radio. Nothing of what has been previously seen in Western democracies in terms of counterfeiting and news manipulation can compare to this absolute and relentless blockade, which can only be matched by totalitarian censorship in communist countries, the difference being that the latter was imposed by the government, while the first arises from voluntary complicity – a systemic and not conspiratorial one, exactly as predicted by communist strategist Antonio Gramsci.

More than Obama’s election itself, this phenomenon signals a historical sea-change, destined to bear devastating consequences on a global scale. Decades of indoctrination in the universities, based on the premise that there is no reality, just the “imposition of the narrative,” have accomplished their goal: a new generation of journalists has come to power at the news rooms, deeply imbued with the strong belief that their duty is not to depict the world, but to transform it. The honorable public, likewise, is supposed to be swept up by this change, without knowing where it comes from or where it will lead to. Whether this curtain of darkness will remain closed for a thousand or just a few years, I don’t know.

What is certain is that it’s already descended upon the land that was once home to the free press.

 

Olavo de Carvalho, b. 1947, is a Brazilian writer and philosopher who has taught political philosophy at the Catholic University of Parana, Brazil, from 2001 to 2005. He currently resides in the U.S., working as a correspondent for Brazilian newspapers. The author of a dozen books on philosophical and political matters, he is a respected weekly columnist with a wide following in his native Brazil and an increasingly popular public speaker in this country. He has spoken before the Hudson Institute, the Atlas Foundation and the America’s Future Foundation.