Sometimes you hear and learn things while napping.
In the relaxed ambiance of a resort, imagine a tourist enjoying a full-month vacation stretching out in a comfortable easy chair where he closes his eyes for a nap.
He gently lets his memory wander in search of comforting memories that will be enticing to sleep.
People’s imaginations, however, are almost always tricky. By nature, every whim is stubborn. Without knowing why, the images that come to his mind (perhaps because of the beautiful forest in the distance), are photos or films about Indians, their customs, huts, feasts, mourning and war rites, which he had seen on different occasions.
The would-be napper finally manages to escape this indigenous persecution (not conducive to relaxation). He closes his eyelids in his insistent quest for sleep while softly and gently bringing to mind some great Western city such as Venice, Rome, London or New York. Or else, São Paulo, Rio, or Buenos Aires.
Now relaxed, our tourist feels sleep drawing near. Yet, his ears suddenly begin to hear the din of a conversation between people who just sat down in a nearby group of chairs in the same hotel lobby. Two people are talking.
By a rare coincidence (or perhaps telepathy?), they seem to be chatting precisely about the wild scenarios that had just plagued the unfortunate siesta hunter. One voice asks,
“So, what kind of group should serve as a model for human society: the tribe, or the big city?”
Between being surprised and indolent, the tourist wonders, still with eyes closed, who is asking this question with such an obvious and even banal answer.
However, he does not lose his hope of napping, as that which is dreary can also be sleep-inducing. Who knows if this conversation will help him fall asleep?
But then he hears another voice, which emphatically responds:
“The tribe is the model of the future. It represents for people a style of being, thinking, desiring and acting that should shape the crumbling societies of our century, and especially those that will form over many centuries to come.
“On the contrary, the great urban agglomerations of consumerist civilization, which still enchant or excite so many people today, represent the past, decrepitude, and death. At any rate, it represents everything that must disappear.” This time, the tourist couldn’t resist. He opened his eyes, looking for the “madman” that had just spoken. He could no longer sleep.
* * *
Meanwhile, the emphatic voice continued, “It’s not just me saying this. In Brazil, leading-edge missionaries think precisely the same way. Have you heard of aggiornati missionaries? ”
“No. What’s that?”
“You might as well learn about it. Aggiornato comes from ‘giorno,’ Italian for ‘day.’ Aggiornato is, therefore, a missionary who proclaims himself up-to-date with the post-conciliar New Church.”
“Aggiornati missionaries want to protect indigenous populations still living happily in their huts, scattered here and there deep in the jungles, from the risk of being taken over by today’s ‘civilization.’ Undoubtedly, the Indigenous peoples are remnants of an ancient past, but above all, they are living lessons for a very wise future.”
“In the so-called savage tribe, there are neither bosses nor chieftains. The chief is just a counseling leader. The consensus of all resolves everything. Among the Indians, there are no farmers, settlers, bosses, employees, owners, marginalized, rich or poor. There are no laws, regulations, departments, fees, taxes or all the hellish harassment that you know. There is nothing to divide, put in order or suppress. The spontaneous nudity of both sexes is complete or nearly so. Everyone roams the jungle looking for snacks to eat: fishes, birds, beetles or fruits. They then share with the families everything they gather. No one wants to be more than anyone else or thinks much about tomorrow. In short, it is a paradise on earth.”
Unsurprised by that unexpected tirade, the other party asks:
“What about us? Are we to remain stuck in our lifestyle?” The answer comes quickly:
“Don’t you realize what must happen? We must put an end to this mania for money, capital, profit, luxury, status and inequality in the world of whites as well. In the future, everything must be shared equally to end competition and “careers” and liquidate the huge economic, political, administrative and social structures. We must dissolve the megalopolises and countries to form galaxies of small, autonomous, spontaneous, free, equal and kindred groups. In short, the indigenous lifestyle is much more of a model for us than we are for him.”
“Are you then preaching a general dismantling?”
“Yes, but it is a constructive dismantling because a new world will be born from it.
“And how is this dismantling to be done?”
“I know that a lot of people already want this, and they are celebrities. They are world-renowned scholars, thinkers and writers. Have you heard of Lévi-Strauss, for example? He is a famous ethnologist, a chaired professor of anthropology at the Collège de France, in Paris, and leader of structuralist thought in our day. For him, having ‘resisted history’ and fixed the way of life of the pre-neolithic period, indigenous society is the one closest to the human ideal. And it is to this kind of society that we must return.”
“When people who want this become a majority, their victory will be irreversible. In fact, it doesn’t even take that much. It is sufficient that it becomes fashionable to want it at any given time. How many revolutions were victorious being carried by the winds of fashion?”
“But, besides this celebrity scholar you mentioned, who else supports this right now?”
“Look, I am very cognizant of what is going on in the Church right now because I am a missionary priest.”
Wearing shorts so short as to look more like a loincloth, the emphatic young man draws a long puff from his cigarette and continues in a lower tone:
“We are gradually convincing priests, nuns and some laypeople too. Most notably, there are bishops, but don’t ask me their names.”
“Oh, I see. You are communists and don’t want trouble with the police.”
“Nonsense! Communism the way it is in Russia, is an old hat! The dictatorship of the proletariat, state capitalism, elephant-sized administrative networks, all that has to end as well. In a sense, of course, we are communists, but we don’t stop there. For example, take state capitalism: it is outdated because we want neither capitalism nor the state. Let’s go beyond these old-fashioned ideas…”
At this point, the poor would-be napper definitely can no longer sleep and wants to get away from the dreadful news hurting his ears. Curiosity, however, keeps him alert. Many questions assail his mind. It is easy to imagine what they are.
* * *
Editor’s note: The above text does not describe a scene from a hotel near the Pan-Amazon Synod held in Rome on October 6-27, 2019, although it could be. Indigenous tribalism as a model for the West was a major part of the discussion at the Synod. “Updated” missionaries, like the one mentioned above, told the Synod that the Indians have much to teach the Church.
The above text was actually the introduction to the book, Indian Tribalism: The Communist-Missionary Ideal for Brazil in the Twenty-First Century, by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira in 1977. He foresaw the threat of this new form of missiology at that time.
The introduction continues below by introducing this most-timely book. We invite you to read this prophetic work and apply it to the afflictive conclusions of the 2019 Synod.
Thus the introduction returns to the story and invites the poor eavesdropper and Brazilian readers to find the answers to his questions in the book. We extend this same invitation to our readers.
* * *
Nothing is better, to answer such questions than to hear Church voices, especially missionary voices, from the highest-ranking to the lowest.
To make it easier for the reader, the work will present both the attractive and complex task of analyzing what these voices say. Thus, we will first deal with the traditional conception of what a Catholic mission is (Chapter I) and then a summary of what the “updated” missionaries think (Chapter II).
Having made this comparison, the reader will feel entirely comfortable interpreting the voices – that is, texts – of these latter missionaries, offered below in Chapter III.
When you read these texts, do not go over them quickly. Stop before each one and accurately gauge the depths of the chasms to which it invites. Listen to them preach about the dismantling of the family and contemporary society, the extinction of modesty and the death of the whole Christian tradition. Listen to them accuse white settlers of being tyrannical oppressors and bloodthirsty thieves. See how they set out to destroy the accomplishments of the pioneers and missionaries of bygone centuries, not even sparing the sacred work of the great Jesuit missionary Anchieta, whose almost superhuman moral profile achieved such a magnificent missionary success with the natives. Hear them call upon youths in seminaries and convents throughout the country to join this tribal “neocommunism,” which boasts of going beyond communism. Think about this cohort of utopian demolishers led by two bishops, Pedro Casaldáliga and Tomás Balduino.
Finally, understand that this perspective poses a real danger to the Indians, but even more so to those in the civilized world. It is ultimately an onslaught by ecclesiastical figures against the Church; it pits those who are civilized against civilization. What is the poor Indigenous peoples’ role in all this? They serve as a bone of contention in the struggle between the civilized peoples who seek to preserve civilization by re-Christianizing it, and others who try to sink civilization into the errors that cause agitation, and still others, that raze it.
* * *
After reading this work, my fellow Brazilians, what should you do? Unless the Christian fiber and the pioneering spirit of yore are dead in your souls, resist! If that fiber is dead, there is no remedy at all: In a suicidal act, the demolishers will destroy the work of their forefathers. Of course, they will do this to the advantage of the new forms of red imperialist propaganda. If even the best among us lack the Faith or fiber of old, this suicide will be an inevitable consequence of this situation. We hope things will not descend to that point. There are many encouraging reasons to hope the contrary will be true. Thus, dear reader, take an interest in this material. Spread the word about this “neo-communist” onslaught. If you raise your voice, you will have the glory of contributing to a cry of alert that can save Brazil.
You can read the prophetic work, Indian Tribalism: The Communist-Missionary Ideal for Brazil in the Twenty-First Century, by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira by clicking here.