Olavo de Carvalho was a better public intellectual than a public official

A loser. Anglicism comes in handy when, in the midst of the chatter post mortem of social networks, I see a professor with a federal public examination saying that she thinks her husband is charming because he was sued by Olavo de Carvalho . Who is Olavo de Carvalho? A writer without degrees recognized as a philosopher spontaneously by a mountain of people. Who was the husband in question? A professor of philosophy with a federal exam. An anonymous person among so many PhDs in philosophy who take the exam, and who is not known for any idea of ​​his own.

If Olavo de Carvalho had enough influence to arrest someone, that could give a charm. But who has the prerogative to take pictures making a face of Jesus Christ looking up and say “I’m a brave persecuted politician willing to give his life for my ideals!” are the olavetes and the bolsonaristas. It’s people like Oswaldo Eustáquio, who walked into prison and left in a wheelchair. Jail, by the way, to which he arrived without due process of law. Gone are the days when being on the left could lead to jail or death. The cost of being a leftist intellectual in a federal is zero. The social cost of being a publicist and tweeting slogans to your class is zero. On the contrary: whoever wants to live a relaxed existence and play for the fans, let them be leftists and run to adhere to the slogans.

The individual face of defeat

In this scenario of massification, which makes people feel anonymous, being noticed by Olavo de Carvalho is an achievement. In the meantime, the academic ended up gaining a new charm for the woman not for an act of bravery (there is no bravery in playing for the crowd), but for having stood out as a crucible amidst the crowd of Olavo’s haters. It is the tacit recognition of colossal asymmetry, as there was nothing the academic could do against Olavo to make Roxane proud.

It is impressive that these people do not see this type of statement as a confession of defeat in life. Who are you? A foot of page in the life of a guy you hate and at the same time use to be somebody in life. Use it in a way that matters even in the appreciation of the spouse.

It’s a sad spectacle. These are people that I lived with, that I liked, and with whom I spent hours talking about a multitude of subjects not related to the politics of the moment. Is it still possible to do this sort of thing on the outskirts of a federal university? Not anytime soon, not least because they’re all closed, and everyone’s at home, tweeting. Without looking at anyone’s face other than your own bubble, it’s easy to imagine the other as a demon, a subhuman. When the “demons” showed their numerical strength, they went into a tailspin.

The impression it gives is that these people have become one-dimensional over the last few years. They are what appears on social media, and they cannot imagine that anyone is more than what appears on social media. It seems that, before they went about dehumanizing others, they dehumanized themselves. They became walking caricatures, incapable of a deep appreciation of human beings.

But also, if they dared to see Olavo as someone who is sometimes right and sometimes not, who was kind to some and bad with others – in short, if they saw him as a human being and not as Satan incarnate – what would be the meaning of their lives? They made their identities revolve around the idea that they fight evil. Denying that all this effort was directed at a human being has a huge emotional cost. It means admitting that you are a spiteful couch activist, irrelevant in public debate. For this psychological reason, the dehumanization of the “extremist” thrives.

The internet takes the place of the university

Olavo de Carvalho does not fail to represent the triumph of the internet over the university as the realm par excellence of the clash of ideas. Between the university and the streets full of illiterates there is an abyss. If the illiterates are not very given to discussing political ideas that are more distant from ordinary life (discussing city councilors’ fights is much more feasible for them than discussing the ideological orientation of agents of the federal plan), the middle class, however, is the realm of polemics. On weekends and in the hallways of the workplace, he loves to discuss politics and ideology. So that everything would not be a flash in the pan, the middle class used newspapers to amplify their words, making them known outside their immediate circle. For this, the individual needed to write his thoughts within a number of strokes and submit it to the editor’s appreciation – who might even like him, but have other things to publish in that space limited by the amount of paper.

If your article came out and the people decided to read it, your feeling would have been more like a shipwrecked man who put a letter in a bottle than a tweeter. After all, paper doesn’t react, and you wouldn’t have any idea what people you don’t know thought, unless they took the trouble to send a letter to the newsroom, and the newsroom delivered it to you.

On the internet, we can all write whatever we want; and, if our writings please, the only barrier will be that of language. The advent of the comment box brought the writer out of solitude, and he was able to get a feel for his readership. The lack of readers must be the biggest disincentive to writing. With the internet, it became easy for the reader to leave their comments and put the idea that no one reads them out of the writer’s mind. The internet, therefore, ends up being an incentive for writing and thinking.

Once there is a busy comment box, it ends up constituting a community of people interested in a certain subject. All this occurs without the supervision of someone outside the community.

And thus, the phenomenon Olavo de Carvalho emerged. Banned from newspapers and magazines, he lodged himself on the internet. He launched a blog (the one with the words “Sapientiam autem non vincit malitia” at the top), created a profile on Orkut, invented a telephone course (propagated by the networks). He went to fight and won. Certainly, in terms of reach, he did better as a public intellectual than any academic paid from the treasury to do political propaganda. As for the philosophy departments, then, there is no mention. Nobody calls Marilena Chauí Lula’s guru, nor Giannotti a FHC guru. It is tacitly recognized that both have no relevance in formulating the ideas of the parties they defend. Giannotti himself was, against Merquior (who did not use the internet and worked extensively in newspapers), a militant against the exercise of philosophical activity in politics; he preferred to confine it to the examination of texts by dead authors. Olavo de Carvalho is accused of being the intellectual mentor of a Brazilian political movement that reached the head of the Executive. The last Brazilian thinker to receive this accusation is Oliveira Vianna, an ideologue of Varguismo.

I don’t think that public reach and influence over governments are the best parameters for evaluating an intellectual. The government may have affinities with totalitarianism; the public may like to hear bullshit. I am more Gilberto Freyre (udenista) than Oliveira Vianna, although the UDN has not gone anywhere. I think I’m a better intellectual than Márcia Tiburi, although she has much more reach than I do.

If I were obsessed with badmouthing Márcia Tiburi and a husband found me charming for taking process, this would mean that Márcia Tiburi has something that I consider very important, and that I don’t have it myself.

The academy’s obsession with Olavo de Carvalho reveals the university’s defeat as a producer of ideas. The person of Olavo de Carvalho, egress from the internet, has much more relevance in the public debate than the person of any professor at USP.

The institutional face of defeat

After Olavo’s death, news and more news came out from specialists who pontificated on the danger of his intellectual heritage. What stands out is the depth of a saucer, the same one-dimensionality of the academic with which we started this text. I read an article by an FGV professor in Estadão and I don’t find a single legitimate reason why Olavo has attracted followers. I only read that their ideas are dangerous and their supporters are extreme right.

In an article by Veja, we see a political scientist from UERJ and one without diplomas warning of the Machiavellian plans of the extreme right. naughty. What’s more: the book by sem diplomas is considered “the best book on the current Brazilian extreme right”. Everything they said against Olavo’s lack of formal studies was forgotten. To make matters worse, she is a disciple of Ayan, an ex-olavete who broke up with Olavo and handed everyone over to the STF.

In the meantime, the academy adhered to the thesis of another intellectual without internet degrees. This is the dehumanizing thesis that “extremists” are like robots that believe whatever they read on the internet, which needs to be censored soon. Bolsonaro would have been elected by the Zap-Zap coup, which washed people’s brains with the dick bottle. This is the level of public debate. With or without a degree, a crowd of anonymous people on social media feel very important for fighting human beings they see as demons.

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