Life is an eternal state of exception. If you’re a Gnostic, that is.
Revolution and Counter-Revolution is a book that comes highly recommend by an American “faith-based organization” called The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.
A subsidiary of a Washington 501(3)(c) corporation called The Foundation for Christian Civilization, Inc., with a mailing address in Kansas and a street address in Pennsylvania.
Listed as “commercial fundraisers” for this little operation, with its $4,000-$5,000 a year in operating expenditures and administrative overhead combined: Univision Marketing Group, Inc. and DMW Worldwide, Inc.
Shell corporation alert.
It also, I think, provides a kind of handbook, or codebook, for understanding how the folks at Veja magazine, for example, published here in São Paulo by the Grupo Abril, craft their memes for the week — what I have called Veja‘s “The MST Wants to Eat Your Babies!” strategy.
Let me explain.
First, the blurb:
If anything characterizes our times, it is a sense of pervading chaos. In every field of human endeavor, the windstorms of change are fast altering the ways we live. Contemporary man is no longer anchored in certainties and thus has lost sight of who he is, where he comes from and where he is going. If there is a single book that can shed light amid the postmodern darkness, it is Revolution and Counter-Revolution by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira. In a masterly display of penetrating Catholic scholarship, this extraordinary Brazilian author and man of action traced the processes of history that have shaped postmodern man.
Everytime I hear an instance of that corollary of the “rhetoric of the technological sublime” whereby reengineering human nature is a doable project — “We have the technology! We can rebuild him! — the NMM(-TV)SNBC BS detector pings off the scale, explodes, and spare parts have to be trucked in across the Triple Frontier from Paraguay.
So what kind of actions did the founder of a Mussolini-inspired political party here take, anyway?
The savagery with which his Wikipedia biography has been bowdlerized, and the quality of the keepers of the flame you find stationed there, might give you a broad hint.
But let us google on.
Or possibly even take some books down from the shelf for a change.
Pop quiz, by the way: Name the front group armed by Kissinger & Gang to take out General Schneider in Chile in 1970.
For hints, look here.
The odd thing is the way that the rabid far right here — led by our friend Olavo de Carvalho — insists loudly and repeatedly that TFP is actually a dangerous and heretical manifestation of the New Catholic Left.
Odd in that Carvalho’s entire life dedicated to carrying out the Counter-Revolution against the neo-pagans, in a manner exactly as described in this TFP HOWTO.
On which see also this really, really odd propaganda film, from YouTube that I have been puzzling over for a while now.
In the meantime, the basic theory of history outlined here sounds very familiar to an old, old reader, collector and taxonomist of all the bombastic Hegelian and neo-Hegelian grand progressive visions in the library.
The book’s impressive analysis of a revolutionary process born of pride and sensuality begins with a Middle Ages in decadence, proceeds to a neo-pagan Renaissance and pseudo-Reformation, then to the French Revolution, and atheistic Communism. The third part deals with the “Fourth Revolution,” or the cultural revolution of the sixties that gave birth to our confusing postmodern times.
Right. If only we had let Prof. (Em.) Kissinger nuke Vietnam, none of this would be happening.
The Mud People would not be “winning.”
Perhaps the most important part of this book is the section on the Counterrevolution. Prof. de Oliveira showed how to implement truly counterrevolutionary action at the service of the Church. He discussed the tactics to be used and the pitfalls to be avoided. The highly acclaimed work is a veritable manual that all Catholics can have recourse in resisting the neo-pagan revolution of our days. It is a powerful tool for making sense of the pervading chaos.
Nice rhetorical flourish, that: You enter on “pervasive chaos” and you exit on “pervasive chaos.” Rounding out the period.
The History of Mystery Channel
It’s funny, Neuza and I walked over to the 2001 video rental joint — freaking expensive — in the rain yesterday and came away with this great old Italian screwball historical comedy from the 1960s or so called The Incredible Army of Brancaleone to watch last evening.
Neuza is writing a proposal for a grant to finish up a novella and new+collected stories, and this emerged as a vital piece of recherche du temps perdu. Go figure.
But my wife’s head is a subtle Zeitgeist barometer indeed, and has yet to steer me very far wrong.
And so I was just sitting there on my couch — watching these poor medieval bozos trying to avoid infection by various manifestations of cultural insanity designed to mobilize them for jihad without starving to death — and thinking, as a student of history: When and where on earth since it congealed and cooled did the “lost certainties” sermonized on by this kind of religious charlatan ever exist?
Answer: When we were all floating in the dark warmth of the womb, incapable of knowing any better.
Before someone slapped us on the ass and said “Welcome to the human race.”
As in “know ye are dust and to dust thou shalt return.”
Believe it or not, I was actually raised in a movement of this kind.
My father was, until the day he died, a fervent member of the American branch of the Soka Gakkai — a pernicious hostile takeover, in postwar Japan, of what was once a small religious sect by a far-right political movement.
It has quite a few seats in the Diet to this day, I understand.
Its charismatic leader’s must-read book back in my days in the Junior Pioneers — our theme song, I swear to you, played in all the parades on songflute and glockenspiel, was Disney’s “It’s a Small World After All” — was, interestingly enough, called The Human Revolution.
They even made me watch the abominable 1974 movie, throughout which my poor father sobbed uncontrollably.
Over and over again.
Which is why I basically finished out high school crashing in the garage at friends’ houses.
If you do not believe me, I have his gohonzon, in fact, sitting right here.
I even still have a few snatches of gongyo rattling around in my head — my dad insisted I be the first kid on the block to memorize the twice-daily text for chanting.
But more on that later.
Let me just say that the Human Revolution my father underwent did not prevent him from dying in 2000 with a long rap sheet, and suspended sentence still to serve, of convictions for assault and battery on a string of hapless spouses.
And visiting some old family friends of ours after his death, who still practice — one guy is a high school teacher who gave me my first job, as a painter’s helper — I heard some very interesting tales of how these folks had struggled to recognize and dispel this infantile and infantilizing aspect of their faith, so that they could keep on practicing it as autonomous adults.
A heavy story, that.
The big shock, I take it, coming when the monks excommunicated the entire lay organization.
Even after the Japanese Moonies had built the monks a billion-dollar temple, the Sho Hondo.
Let me see if I can find a good link to that story …