The Most Impressive Communist-Crusher You've Never Heard Of
I first saw Olavo de Carvalho years ago on a program called Update Brazil, which covered the global fight against communism.
The video is gone now, the whole channel purged by YouTube. The host was Allan dos Santos, an excellent anti-communist journalist who is now being persecuted and blacklisted by Brazil's far-left Supreme Court. Also on the show were the brilliant American analysts, Jeff Nyquist and Diana West.
The fourth person was the only one I didn't recognize. An old and playful Brazilian man. He seemed quirky. Maybe a blogger and friend of Allan's.
It was actually Olavo de Carvalho, who was something of a national hero and incredibly accomplished. I just couldn't tell it from his polite and humble demeanor. If I recall correctly, he went out of his way to promote the books of West and Nyquist, saying how great they are, and what a big fan of theirs he is.
Since then, I have studied Olavo's work, getting it translated into English, and learned something of his career. In my opinion, he was maybe the most brilliant and interesting thinker we had in the world.
Olavo did something incredibly difficult, even borderline impossible. He led the ideological movement to remove communists from power in Brazil. And they did succeed in winning back the presidency.
Over the last couple of decades, Brazil was under the rule of Presidents Lula and Rousseff, who, depending on your point of view, were either far-left or outright communists. Brazilian media are so far to the left that they make American media look tame by comparison.
During that time, Olavo was sounding the warning on TV and in writing. He was explaining how dangerous the leftist movement was and warning of a shadowy international communist movement.
There are clear parallels to all of this in America, but in Brazil, he was specifically investigating and warning about the São Paulo Forum. This is kind of like a hangout and planning ground for communists like Castro, Maduro, Chávez, and Lula, among others.
While investigating and talking about the threat of communism, Olavo was hit with death threats and made his way to the United States, where he then resided in Virginia. He was happy to be a part of Virginia's conservative and Christian community.
Nowadays, following the subversive war against Trump, it is somewhat mainstream for Americans to talk about the advance of communism. Back a couple of decades ago, it wasn't. Brazil mainstreamed this talk before Americans. And as the years flowed, by people realized that Olavo was right. The hashtag "#OlavoTemRazão" or "#OlavoIsRight" swept the nation.
The Olavo movement brought Bolsonaro to power, who is arguably the most conservative president in the world. Consider a sampling of headlines on him: "Jair Bolsonaro Wants Every Brazilian to Have a Gun," "The World Leader Who is Far Worse Than Trump," and "Brazil's Bolsonaro Calls Governors 'Tyrants' Over Lockdowns."
I asked Fernando Candia, one of the many students from Olavo's philosophy course, about this. He said: "Despite the fact that Bolsonaro is an independent man, I can say with no error, that without Olavo, he wouldn't have the platform to run for president. During the 2013 protests against the leftist government, people began to share Olavo's work, that gained momentum by presenting proper criticism against the leftists and communists in general."
What Olavo and Bolsonaro did in Brazil is amazing, an inspiration, and worthy of study.
What makes Olavo so instructive isn't just what he said. We have many high-I.Q. pundits who can logically and pedantically explain a position. If he wanted to, Olavo could do it better than anyone. He read the classics, studied Latin, could discourse on the intricacies of Aristotle and walk people through specific passages of Marx, explaining how they're flawed.
But Olavo's style was something else entirely. He combined an extremely deep learning with his own down-to-earth attitude to show how, and bring about, a victory over the left.
"Politics is about people and means. Never values and ideas. Never.
What deals with values and ideas? Religion. Philosophy. It is we, the intellectuals, the suckers that keep discussing it. And in the meanwhile, those guys come" and...well, sodomize you. You'll have to watch the video to hear the colorful phrasing he uses.
He explained, the key isn't intellectual debate; "it's about destroying the career and power of these people. It's very important not to respect them."
In a lecture, he laid out the necessary tactics to beat the radical left. It's basically just holding them accountable for their own deviant behavior:
"Once I had a debate with two senators from the Worker's Party. ... And they said to me, 'You are disrespecting our governor now.' I replied, 'It's not that I'm disrespecting him now, it's that I never respected him. Because he said in an interview that at 20 years old he was a champion of masturbation, like he was doing a masturbation contest. He wasn't doing that at 12 years old. He was doing that when he was 20 years old and already a man. How can you respect such crap?' This ended his career. After this, everyone was afraid of being together with him."
Incredibly successful as he was, my hunch is that Olavo was only forced into politics and that his real interest was in philosophy and culture. He just had no choice because the communists were attacking everything around him, including meaningful culture.
A couple years ago, I began spamming him with emails requesting that he give me permission to translate and publish his works into English. Olavo said okay.
My proposal was to translate his political stuff. It was best-selling, hot stuff, that dealt with issues of the day.
But, he countered, how about his philosophy book, Machiavelli or the Demonic Confusion, where he laid out the case that Machiavelli waged war against morality and God?
That's pretty telling. His mind didn't run to promotion of his best-selling political work. That was just a means for him to defend what he cared about. His heart was in his philosophical work.
Nyquist read Olavo's book on Machiavelli and wrote, "The English-speaking world has yet to discover Olavo de Carvalho. In Brazil he is an 'event,' and his influence will inevitably be felt beyond Brazil." I agree.
He passed away on Monday. The mainstream media are releasing ghoulish obituaries smearing him. They can't stand the fact that he was smarter than them and wouldn't take their crap.
Olavo used to excoriate journalists who lied about him. From a few years ago, he ended an amazing interview with The Atlantic by ordering the journalist to leave and said, "I wanted you to know that you disgusted my whole family."
He told the journalist about the online philosophy school he founded and ran, where he taught thousands of devoted students. He explained, "My influence on Brazil's culture is infinitely bigger than anything the government is doing. I am changing Brazil's cultural history. Governments go away; the culture stays."
Image: Olavo de Carvalho via YouTube.