Belive in

“The mediocre man does not believe in what he sees, but in what he learns to say.”
Olavo de Carvalho”

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Find Olavo

Olavo de Carvalho is Brazil`s most prominent living philosopher. Here is what one can find of his work in English online. Enjoy.

Some old philosophy handouts translated by Google (Portuguese to English translations have become almost entirely correct in the last years and very readable). If you feel comfortable with the automatic translations, I would recommend you browse the whole site.

https://is.gd/fwEGw3

Translations of his online philosophical diary on Facebook, made mostly by me:

https://olavodecarvalhofb.wordpress.com/category/english/

Online videos subtitled in English on various philosophical subjects.

https://www.youtube.com/cha…/UC4xsj-xJYlAbT0PXb2PVLaw/videos
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5DgZFjS9R05Ib_4gMfinYA

Newspaper articles translated by real people. He considers most of them case studies of his philosophy applied to politics. That is why I gave the links for the philosophical works first. The study of the real life issues is founded on what is there.

http://www.olavodecarvalho.org/category/english/

A more detailed case study is Olavo’s debate with Alexander Dugin, who is Putin’s most important intellectual influence. They debated the role of the US in the world today (although “today” is the Obama era when the debate happened).

http://debateolavodugin.blogspot.com/

Online videos subtitled in English where several political issues of the day are discussed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MpDcBo5UOc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk9CWm0W4Q4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iOI7A8AbWA

Extraordinary flourishing of intelligence

“The quality of your intellectual formation has nothing to do with what you can get in academia, in universities. Nothing. There you have only professional exchange.

The personal circle of intellectuals who are friends, who know each other, and thus are able to exchange experience in depth, this is the real locus of learning. It’s not schools or universities.

When I taught in Rio de Janeiro, we created a series with interviews with Brazilian intellectuals who had appeared in the 30s – the 30s and the 40s were the most brilliant for Brazilian culture. The question was: “where did you learn?” And every single one of them answered: “in personal meetings”. It was never in the university, even for those who had studied abroad in the best universities. Even for them, it was not in the universities that they learned.

This means that it is the meeting of intelligent people that is the basic circumstance to develop intelligence. Later, investigating history, I saw that it was precisely the case, for example, among the Scholastics; it was what had happened in Austria in the beginning of the 20th century, what had happened in the age of German romanticism. In several periods where there had been an extraordinary flourishing of intelligence, it was within groups of people who knew each other and who, sometimes were even more than friends, they were even relatives, since one would marry the other’s sister or something like that.”

Olavo de Carvalho

Argue for the rules

“An essential ‘progressive’ rhetoric sleight of hand is to never argue for the rules they want to implement.

Instead, those rules are made superior to all discussions, pretending they have already been accepted by all humanity, being of automatic application and mandatory to all fields of human society.

Hard punishments should be applied not only to those who violate such principles, but also to all those who fail to apply them with the same vigor and emphasis.

Judicial activism itself cannot work without this preliminary operation.”

My experience with the communists

My experience with the communists taught me something most of them do not grasp, although it can be easily deduced from the assumptions of marxism itself, especially in its leninist version.

The content of an ideology can never be known by the narrative that carries it. Instead, it can only be found in the dialectic tension between the narrative and action. If a doctrine insists on preaching good but keeps practicing evil, it is not a beautiful ideal that was betrayed in practice.

On the contrary, what defines this ideology is precisely the systemic moral ambiguity. Nazism, for example, preached racial purity, but always found a way to prove that its allies, no matter the racial roots, belonged to the “superior race”.

Does this mean that the Nazi contradicted in practice their ideology? Not at all.

It means that the ideology was racially opportunistic from the beginning, using the concept of “race” as a unifying symbol, enlarging or restricting the reach of its meaning according to the strategic and tactical needs of the moment.

Since an ideology is essentially a theoretical justification for certain actions, it should be obvious that its interpretation depends on these actions, and not solely on its verbal statements. Marx, Lenin and Stalin understood this almost by instinct, but in general not even the militants of the left, nor their critics, see that very very clearly.

The opposition between ideal and real is typical of the bourgeois way of thinking. MARXISM ABHORS IT. Where the bourgeois accuses the communist of betraying his own ideals, the communist knows that the apparent betrayal is a deep form of loyalty, and feels happy that his enemy proves incapable of seeing the unity of the opposites.

Those with “classical liberal” education, disciples of Karl Popper and all like them, will never understand SH*T about marxism.

Given a contradiction the bourgeois way of thinking seeks to SOLVE IT and get rid of it. Marxism seeks, before everything else, to deepen it and to use it as part of the broader strategy.
The problem in these matters of marxism, is that most people (and I refer to those in academy) cannot follow even a simple chain of deductions, like in the demonstration of a geometry theorem. How, then, would they be able to follow at the same time TWO opposing lines of reasoning, or even several diverging lines, which is precisely what dialectics does?

The Brazilian left claimed to be against corruption, but once in power, steals more than all the other parties put together. What defined its ideology is precisely the dialectic game of moralism and theft, both serving to the permanent concentration of party power.

Another example is the fact that the Communist Party is very comfortable in the broader territory that includes promoting capitalism to the radical statization of the means of production.

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Online references in English

by Fabio L. Leite 

Some old philosophy handouts translated by Google (Portuguese to English translations have become almost entirely correct in the last years and very readable). If you feel comfortable with the automatic translations, I would recommend you browse the whole site.

https://is.gd/fwEGw3

Translations of his online philosophical diary on Facebook, made mostly by me:

https://olavodecarvalhofb.wordpress.com/category/english/

Online videos subtitled in English on various philosophical subjects.

https://www.youtube.com/cha…/UC4xsj-xJYlAbT0PXb2PVLaw/videos
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5DgZFjS9R05Ib_4gMfinYA

Newspaper articles translated by real people. He considers most of them case studies of his philosophy applied to politics. That is why I gave the links for the philosophical works first. The study of the real life issues is founded on what is there.

http://www.olavodecarvalho.org/category/english/

A more detailed case study is Olavo’s debate with Alexander Dugin, who is Putin’s most important intellectual influence. They debated the role of the US in the world today (although “today” is the Obama era when the debate happened).

http://debateolavodugin.blogspot.com/

Online videos subtitled in English where several political issues of the day are discussed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MpDcBo5UOc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk9CWm0W4Q4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iOI7A8AbWA

Books and authors recommended by Olavo on his talk with Stephan Molyneux above:

4:40 – Georg Lukács
6:20 – “History and Class Consciousness” – by Lukács
10:30 – “The Authoritarian Personality” – by Theodor Adorno
11:50 – Josiah Royce
12:00 – Friedrich Schelling
13:00 – “Philosophy of Revelation” and “Philosophy of Mythology” – by Schelling
13:40 – “The Philosophy of Loyalty” – by Royce
14:10 – “La Société de Confiance” – by Alain Peyrefitte
18:00 – Andrew Lobaczewski
19:20 – “Political Ponerology: A Science on the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes” – by Lobaczewski
29:10 – Antonio Gramsci
35:50 – “School of Darkness” – by Bella Dodd
37:00 – The Remnant Newspaper
40:00 – “Human Action” – by Ludwig von Mises
40:20 – Ernesto Laclau

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Forms of Happiness

 

by Olavo de Carvalho

Translated by Fabio L. Leite

There are two forms of happiness: one is selfish, narcissistic; the other is altruistic, proper to the adult.

There is a beautiful phrase that says: ‘To be sincere is to die a little’. Every time that you are sincere, that you speak the truth, another illusion die in you. And you will only bear the deaths of your illusions if you get another source of satisfaction, on another level, which is the satisfaction of the love for your neighbor, of love for God. Only in this way will you regain the universality of the happiness you have access to on the level of individual egoism. This is the root of human life. Man was made for it.

So, I get annoyed with grown-ups who seek adolescent satisfaction, licking their own ego, saying, ‘I want this!’, ‘I need it!’. You do not need anything! What you need is service, engagement, responsibility,to love your neighbor to learn to live. When I see a guy saying he needs some clothes, some food, a little boy, a girlfriend, a car, all this just so he does not get sad, I think it’s disgusting!

You have to seek the attainment of the supreme value that makes human life worth, regardless of whether it uplifts you or if you die. At this point, sacrifice is the only meaning of human life. Sacrifice is a holy, sacred work.

Sacrifice goes in this direction, the direction of letting go of the world of selfish illusion, the world of self-protection that is good only for children, and finding satisfaction in something that transcends your person, which may be the benefit of mankind or even of a family. The man who sacrifices himself for his family is already an evolved human being.

For an individual to live a life of self-satisfaction it is necessary that someone protects him from his childish fantasies. The test is this: remove the subject from within that protected universe, and leave him alone in a certain situation, and you will see that he is less than a baby. Human beings have to be prepared to know that we, individually, can not be anything. We are someone only in relation to the value to which we devote ourselves, for which we would risk our lives. Curiously, the denial of individuality is an essential condition for its valorization. The individual who dies for a universal good embodies this universal. This alone can be the foundation of ethics or morality, the rest is small talk. You are worth what you are. The extent of how much you love is how much you sacrifice yourself. If what you love is an imported car or a dose of cocaine, then you’re these things are all you are worth. ”

(From the booklet “Edmund Husserl against psychologism”)

#prayforolavo

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Humbleness of the mediocre

The most abominable thing in the world is the lazy conformism that gives itself the image of evangelical simplicity. The fake humbleness of the mediocre is the delight of the demons.

If you REALLY are too lazy to broaden your conscience, you have the STRICT OBLIGATION of being satisfied with a humble and low position in society. Far too many congressmen, senators, ministers and university teachers could make an honest living as elevator operators or shoe shiners.

In my youth I made too many compromises to the Brazilian worship of mediocrity and banality, because I was afraid of not being liked by people. It was as if I had to be embarrassed for being more focused and serious than that bunch of absent-minded and light-headed people around me. I only became a mature man when I got rid of that weakness.

One day I saw myself reflected in the characters of Advisor Aires of Machado de Assis and Gonzaga de Sa of Lima Barreto – men of superior spirit that run away and hide from society in fear of being misunderstood and hurt by mediocre people. I felt so ashamed of myself and from that point on I acquired a sadistic pleasure in humiliating those who once I feared.

I believe I lost about twenty years of my life hearing idolaters of banality. Never more.

Today, if a person holds a job at university level but has the intellectual life of a garbage collector, I have no inhibition in humiliating him – in public if necessary.

The model-citizen

The model-citizen of our days, specially the young one, is characterized above by a total lack of personality, by abject malleability, by the canine readiness to adapt to any new fad or new rule of behavior, and by considering abnormal and sick those who still haven’t adapted.