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Sorry for the obvious title: Olavo de Carvalho will be missed. I miss a lot


The ideas and even the caricatured personality of Olavo de Carvalho will be missed. And it will be necessary to defend the individual as an autonomous entity worthy of compassion.| Photo: Reproduction / IMDB

The setting is the mythical Bar Lagoa, in Rio de Janeiro. The year is 960. A pity that my memory doesn’t allow me to name everyone at the table chatting animatedly while we wait to be treated by the waiter – the gastrobehavioral experience responsible for the fame of the place. Between sausages and draft beer, the topic at the table is Olavo de Carvalho.

For those who were born and grew up hearing about Olavo de Carvalho, it is difficult to express his importance. Even more so in the last years of the government of Fernando Henrique Cardoso and the first years of the PT government. At that time, despite the scarecrow of “neoliberalism” and the relatively recent collapse of the Soviet Union, the collectivist mentality was absolutely hegemonic. Then Olavo de Carvalho appeared, wielding a simple word, but that made all the difference for a generation: individual.

That’s what we were talking about that day: the primacy of the individual over the group. From the “individual soul” over the “spirit of time”. Unfortunately, it seemed to me a contradiction that we needed to get together and act

as a group to discuss precisely the importance of the individual. But that is beside the point. Life passed and each one of the people gathered at that table went to live it. Each one inoculated with this idea that today may seem obvious, but without which we would never have the necessary clash between those who defend freedom and those who promote tyranny.


A lot has happened since that meeting of Olavetes, Proto-Olaves and future ex-Olavetes in the Lagoon Bar. I, for example, after seeing a beggar emptying his intestines in the middle of Aterro do Flamengo, became a leftist for a week. I denied the individual and, consequently, what I had learned from Olavo de Carvalho. I quickly regained consciousness, but the damage was done: I never had a peaceful relationship with that group again. Worse: I never had a peaceful relationship with the somewhat complicated individual that I am.

With the rise of Olavo de Carvalho to intellectual stardom, so to speak, I was left with the bizarre task of dealing with this influence without letting myself be contaminated by what I saw as a bittersweet caricature . Speaking of caricature, you know what’s more curious? Just yesterday, in a text that has yet to be published, I briefly mentioned the fact that interesting men, that is, weird and idiosyncratic men, are disappearing. Olavo de Carvalho was one of those men. And now he too disappears.

I watched everything with a sense of orphanhood – something I have already explored in a recent text. I saw Olavo de Carvalho on TV, radio and social media and kept thinking about a discretion that didn’t match his personality. As I approached first libertarianism and then stoicism, my differences from the man (but not necessarily the work) increased. But there were many times when, in silence and somewhat embarrassed, I tried to cross that gap. Unsuccessfully.

Parenthesis and end of text2022 (A necessary parenthesis here. I write this text stopping from time to time to take a walk around the house [sou peripatético] and spy on social media. Among the many messages of gratitude, I come across here and there with expressions of hate The authors are the usual “humanists.” Those who, always in a group [até porque lhes falta a noção complexa de individualidade], transform the death of Olavo de Carvalho into a barbaric ritual of hellish joy.

In the face of this spectacle, it would be very easy to just be indignant, angry or, come on, depressed. I prefer to think that, even dead, Olavo de Carvalho achieved the improbable: to make atheists, with their diabolical perversity, make reference to the shroud of transcendence that one day will envelop us all.

I also prefer to think that the leftists who dance on the coffin of Olavo de Ca rvalho are giving a great lesson to the sensible majority that still identifies with Christian principles: to gloat over the death of the adversary [ou inimigo] is a scoundrel thing. Let us not repeat this more than reprehensible attitude when our adversaries [ou inimigos] enter Charon’s vessel. Now I close the parenthesis to complete the text).

At a time when not only men but also ideas have become tediously homogeneous, even if they disguise themselves as diversity and even antagonism, the idiosyncrasies and cigarette puffs of Olavo de Carvalho will be missed. As well as the always very original look at reality and even humor – although it’s a bit of an angry humor for my taste.

And it will be necessary, above all, to defend the individual – from the President of the Republic to the beggar on the corner – as an autonomous entity worthy of respect, admiration and, why not?, of astonishment and compassion. To the exact extent that he rebels against groupthink.