November 30, 1977 | Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
The “Aggiornata” and Progressive Conception of the Missions
The end is to retrocede, taking the aborigine as a model. In order to retrocede, destroy. To destroy: defame, divide and make war.
6. The New Abyss Leads to a Third: From Communism to Anarchy
a) Neo-Communism Seeks the Dismantling of the State
It is well known that the Russian regime no longer assembles around itself a totality of those seeking an entirely collectivized society.
Many “new” followers of communism think that the huge structure of the Russian State contains many of the inconveniences of a capitalist society.
Thus they vehemently desire the dismantling of the State and all super agencies. The State, as they affirm, should melt into a galaxy of more or less juxtaposed groups or corpuscles as autonomous as possible.
Within these corpuscles, the phobia against the individual – always and necessarily presumed egoistical – should logically continue, as well as their earnest desire to restrict as much as possible the natural and legitimate liberties that Catholic doctrine recognizes in the human person.
Furthermore, it is foreseeable that the communist ideal, egalitarian and massifying, would subsist in these corpuscles remaining entirely faithful to its most intrinsic principles, with the only difference being that it would be practiced in microscopic rather than macroscopic proportions.
b) The “Classical” Communist Already Foresaw This “Evolution”
The emergence of innovators that aspire to this “neo-communism” is no surprise for the perpetuators of the “classical” communists: these latter forecast, according to their most basic theoreticians, that in the evolutionary course of history a new phase would arise beyond state capitalism and the dictatorship of the proletariat in which the state would in turn be liquidated.
7. “Aggiornata” Missiology in the Brazilian Jungle
Many missionaries, several of them still young, have entered the Brazilian jungles steeped, to a greater or lesser degree, in diffused progressivism and leftism. That is, the most moderate among them have general tendencies and ideas inspired in leftism and progressivism. If we group these two categories together into a vast doctrinal mosaic, they form, in their general outlines, the panorama just illustrated.
a) Tribal Organization, a Masterpiece of Anthropological Wisdom
It is not surprising, then, that these missionaries have formed – under the influence of such tendencies and opinions – an absolutely astonishing notion about the living conditions of the natives; that is, a life marked, among other things, by cruelty, by the most elementary primitivism, by the most dreary stagnation: the Indian seemed to them a wise man, his tribal organization a masterpiece of anthropological wisdom, in short, the model to be followed by the civilized people of the world.
b) Tribal Life and Communist Society
The reason? The analogies between tribal life and the envisioned communist society: the tribe’s community of goods, the complete absence of profit, of capital, of salaries, of employers, of employees, and of institutions of any kind, The tribe alone absorbs all individual liberties of this small human group – a group non-fruitive and thus productive of little, being also not competitive in the least, and in which men live satisfied and without problems because they have divested themselves of their “I” and their “egoism.”
It might be said, en passant, that this tribal world is more than archaic; it is categorically pre-historic! It is a world composed of innumerable smaller worlds without personalities and distinction; that is, of tribes which have no authentic flights of spirit, no ascensional elan, no defined ideals. Their invariable and monotonous life fades away in the cadenced rhythm of equal days, sad or agitated music, and uniform rituals.
c) Are the Indians Communists?
Can the Indians be qualified as communists? This question can only bring a smile.
There is nothing communist about the Indian: neither the doctrine, nor the mentality, nor the designs.
The state in which he is found presents only traces of analogy with the communist regime.
It is one of those happenstances of coincidence that frequently appear when a comparison is made between stages of primitivism and decadence – for example, between infancy and old age.
It is not because he is doctrinally opposed to private property that the primitive has (or almost only has) property in common.
Likewise, the man of the chipped stone age did not avail himself of polished stone because he had not invented it and in no way because he thought he should not use it.
In this perspective, the Indian can not be compared to the “civilized” man who is acquainted with private property the monogamous and indissoluble family and everything that has risen and flowered from these fertile institutions, but who has an aversion to the trunks and fruits of these trees. This “civilized” man wants to take an axe to their roots.
To summarize, an Indian people can be compared to a plant that has not grown but which can still grow. Whereas the enemy of the family and of property, homesick for communitarianism or for tribal communism (the reader may characterize it as he sees fit), is a destroyer…
8. Neo-Tribal Conceptions With Respect to the Family
What is the role of the family in the tribal galaxies of the future world that these dreams, or better, these deliriums prepare for us?
a) Uninhibited Superficiality and Enigmatic Parsimony
It is not a matter of asking what role the family plays in existing tribes or in those that have existed in Brazil; rather the question is what role do the neo-tribal conceptions that appear in our present missiological propaganda attribute to the family? (cf. Part II, no. 7).
Like so many other crucial subjects the new missiology treats this matter with an uninhibited superficiality and an enigmatic laconism, a parsimony of words that clashes with the insistency with which other subjects are broached for example, the supposed disadvantage of private property.
b) The Free-Love Community, Corollary of the Community of Goods
Text nos. 7-11, if interpreted in the light of text no. 7 – the most explicit detailed, and characteristic – show a tendency towards what could be characterized as calm sexual promiscuity.
There is nothing surprising in this if one considers that the free-love community is a corollary of the community of goods.
- 1. “Aggiornata” (“Aggiornate”) – Italian word meaning “up-to-date.”
- 2. Cf., For example, Engels, in The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (Civilização Brasileira, Rio de Janeiro, 3rd. ed., 1977, pp. 195-6):
“Therefore, the State has not existed eternally. There were societies that were organized without it, they had not the slightest notion of the State or its Power. Upon reaching a certain phase of economic development, that was necessarily tied to the division of society into classes, this division made the State a necessity. We are now rapidly approaching a problem of development of production in which the existence of these classes is not only no longer necessary but has even become an obstacle to production itself. Classes are going to disappear and in a way as inevitably, as they arose in the past. With the disappearance of classes, the State will inevitably disappear. Society, reorganizing production in a new form, on the basis of free association of equal producers, will ordain all the machinery of the State to the place which it necessarily corresponds: the museum of antiquities, next to the spinning wheel and the bronze axe.”
- 3. Concerning the first Pan-Amazonian meeting on Indigenous Pastoral Policy convoked by CELAM’S (Latin America’s Conference of Bishops) Department of Missions and by the CNBB (National Conference of Brazilian Bishops), held in Manaus from June 20-25, 1977, Fr. Cesareo de Armellada, Capuchin and delegate to the above mentioned meeting, expressed himself as follows:
“In the reports of certain missionaries, some native peoples appear adorned with all kinds of virtue and capable of provoking the envy of the angels. It is clear that, with this presupposition, we cannot carry out any other role than that of serpents in paradise. One of the bishops said to me: ‘I would like to be chosen as a Visitor in their paradise, which unfortunately I found nowhere else, though I have been in many places’” (La Religión, Caracas, 7-7-77).