Juan Gonzalo Larrain Campbell
Predictions and Denunciations:
Genesis and Diagnosis of Some Aspects of Contemporary Madness
Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira diagnosis the remote and proximate causes of the contemporary world’s neuro-psychopathic state
Around the World, a Person Commits Suicide Every 30 Seconds
On September 10, 2007, the AFP news agency reports: Geneva - “About 3,000 people commit suicide per day in the world, one every 30 seconds, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned this Monday ... For every person who ends his own life, at least 20 others fail in the attempt.
The Organization stressed that the emotional trauma caused by suicide on a family or among friends of the deceased, whether the suicide attempt failed or materialized, can last several years.
“Over the last 50 years, the percentage of suicides increased 60% worldwide, and the strongest increase took place in developing countries,” the Organization added.
Suicide is currently the third leading cause of mortality between the ages 15 and 34, although adults commit most suicides.”
If one adds to this sobering news the growing psychological tension in all ambiences resulting from assaults, kidnappings, economic crises, drug abuse, destruction of the family, etc., one understand that a generalized psychopathic neurosis is one of the dominant elements of the contemporary world.
If we make a superficial analysis of what happens in and around ourselves, this becomes as obvious as to dispense with all additional evidence.
Our goal in this article is to quote some texts by Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira in which he points out, far in advance, the origins of this situation.
Psychosis Caused by the Excitement of Big Cities
For example, in June 1955, when TV broadcasts were just beginning, he wrote:
“All sociologists deplore the exaggerated demographic concentration in great modern centers. They point out the attraction that entertainment in highly developed cities exerts on the simple souls of country people as one of the reasons.
Splendid public lighting, bustling shopping areas decorated with glittering windows at night, cinemas with attractive ads, bars, nightclubs, bakeries, restaurants, bars with loud music and flashing lights, and finally, attractions for all tastes, all wallets, and all addictions: This is the now trivial picture of modern megalopolis, of which Rio and São Paulo offer a typical example.
Attractions of this kind are made to excite, dazzle, and drive people into a frenzy. They create a thirst for increasingly radical pleasures and emotions and ever more intense vibrations. That is how a poor man who has worked hard all day “rests.”
To people addicted to excitement in great urban centers, relaxing to enjoy the chaste and calm pleasures of one’s home or a reasonable, temperate, and tranquil life seems unbearably boring.
Accordingly, they only find fun in intemperance, excitement and addiction. Is it any wonder that in this environment, sins are so many and psychosis so terrible?”1
Vibrations Leading to Psychosis
In the same article, he analyzes the state of nervous excitement in young people when listening to jazz. He concludes:
“Here is an extreme manifestation of a psychological fact that has become common in smaller proportions. If this is how a person vibrates with jazz, what about vibrations caused by cinema, radio, sports? Is that not precisely how souls end up losing their taste for home and work or falling into psychosis?”2
Emotionality, Fantasy, Arbitrariness: The Path to Barbarism
In the same vein, describing the emotion caused by the Beatles in a scene from the 60s, he stated:
“Unfettered emotionality disconnected from any rational motivation and any control of the will; loose fantasy, arbitrariness and whim hoisted as the supreme rule of life: this is the sad foundation of a completely unbalanced mental and nervous state.
Do not think for a moment that these are isolated cases. Similar scenes are multiplying everywhere, attesting that we face a wave of imbalance sweeping humanity in ever greater proportions.
Where will this lead us? It is not difficult to answer: to barbarism.”3
Forgetting Morality Even in Catholic Circles
“What does it result from? From an upbringing without a serious religious basis, which forgets Catholic morality.
“This forgetfulness is more common than you think. It happens not only in homes that ignore Jesus Christ, Our Lady, and the Holy Church but in families that preserve Christian appearances while imparting a viscerally pagan education.
“This education has a thousand modalities. To document just one of these variants becoming rather common, we quote here a set of very finely picked rules that a columnist of O Globo daily reproduced from the American magazine Unitas, under the title ‘How to Raise a Playboy’:
“1. Give your child, from an early age, everything he wants so that he will grow up thinking that everything in the world is his.
2. If he swears, find it amusing. He will think you are brilliant.
3. Give him no moral guidance but say, “When he turns 21, he will choose for himself whatever religion he wants.”
4. Never tell him, ‘do not do this.’ It will give him guilt complexes. Later, when arrested as a car thief, he will say that ‘society is persecuting him.’
5. Pick up what he throws on the ground. He will know that others must do things for him.
6. Let him read anything but sterilize his glass, so it does not become contaminated.
7. Argue in front of him. When his family falls apart, he will not be surprised.
8. Satisfy all his desires so he will not feel frustrated.
9. Generously him all the money he wants.
10. Always tell him he is right. The police and his teachers are those who persecute him.
11. When he is lost, explain there’s nothing more to be done; and get ready for a life of bitterness and suffering.”4
The Role of “Progress” in the Catastrophe
To illustrate more clearly the remote roots of the psycho-neurotic chaos we are dealing with, let us add a few excerpts from an article by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira published in 1931.
“There is much talk about our progress. The 20th century—a comedy in its first decade—has turned abruptly into a long and bloody tragedy far from reaching its end.
“Still, a long series of painful moves separates us from the fatal outcome of the struggle among so many elements that collide today. As in any environment genuinely conducive to tragedies, in our time, we can distinguish great vices.
“Our material civilization is superb. Man has conquered the air and has been able to peer into the secrets of the ocean floor. He has suppressed distances. He has flown. Our factories have devices that can bend the most powerful metal bars like pins.
“However, our mentality suffers precisely from the opposite evil. Instead of bending metal bars as if they were pins, the soul of today’s man feels weak facing the ‘pins’ of the tiniest moral sacrifices, as if they were metal bars.
“Our aspirations are contradictory. Like children playing in a drawing-room, today’s men unconsciously and stupidly break the last bibelots and jewels left of our true civilization.
“They use mechanics for destruction and war. Chemistry is developed not only to supply hospitals but also to manufacture asphyxiating gasses. Toxics are used not just for the laboratory but also to feed the vices of a generation inept for life, seeking to escape reality in the ever-new regions of dream and fantasy. After having devoured the traditions of the past, the machine currently devours the hopes of the future. Production no longer matches consumption. Everything becomes unhinged and falls apart. Contemporary man is just beginning to realize that, alongside the pleasant fruits of a material civilization rich in exquisite comforts, there also sprout bitter fruits of hedonism brought to a peak by the very weapons forged by civilization.”5
The Process that Produced Today’s Electrified Sodom
“The time has come for us to inquire about the true causes of such a disaster. The time has come for us to scrutinize history, not as a pasture for liberal fantasies and utopias, but as a laboratory that elaborated the present like in a distillery. The time has come when we Catholics must proclaim and demonstrate the great truth that salvation comes from a single source. Indeed, in its highest moral sense and legitimate material manifestations, progress comes directly from the Church. The procession of vices, mistakes, and turpitude that false progress has produced comes from a throwback to barbarism in the Renaissance. That is because the Renaissance was just as barbaric as the primitive living condition of Hottentots.6 Indeed, an essential tendency for civilization is to make the life of human communities more and more perfect.
“Therefore, barbarian and uncivilized is the man who does not govern his instincts and thus becomes unfit for social life. Whether this misrule of instincts is covered with laces and silks of Sybarites or wears only the loincloth of Polynesians or Hawaiians, this is only window dressing. A nation without rents or silks, trams or telegraphs but in which morality reigns would be more civilized than a fully electrified Sodom whose moral framework is utterly rotten.”7
Prophesying the Ruin of this Civilization
With unwavering Faith, Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira prophesies the ruin of this civilization:
“Morality is the foundation of all civilization. When a civilization is built on the foundations of a fragile morality, the more it grows, the closer it comes to ruin. It is like a tower that, standing on insufficient foundations, will collapse once it reaches a certain height. The more floors they superimpose on the others, the closer is their ruin. When the rubble littering the earth has shown the building’s weakness, the Babel tower architects will surely envy two-story houses build on broad foundations, which stand defying and mocking the elements.
“Since the 14th century, humanity has been working to weaken its foundations and increase the number of floors.”8
We conclude by saying a capital part of Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira’s mission was to denounce, from the beginning of his public life, the fall of Christian civilization because of the revolutionary process given the lack of reaction from ecclesiastical and secular authorities not only in Brazil, but also in the entire West.
Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira fulfilled this providential mission in every speech, lecture, manifesto, meeting, article, book, conversation, etc. The facts are there. Let the reader judge for himself.
Allow me to add that while announcing a catastrophe, he never ceased to indicate theoretical and practical ways to avoid it, nor failed to show his absolute certainty in Our Lady’s final victory.
May these lines help our readers, following the example of Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, to detest apostasy and persevere during the punishment Our Lady foresaw at Fatima, confiding in the triumph of her Immaculate Heart.
1. “Prazeres que conduzem à psicose, distrações que preparam para o trabalho.” Catolicismo, June 1955.
3. “Como se chegou a isto?” Catolicismo, May 1966.
5. “Catolicismo e Civilização,” Legionário, no. 87, September 27, 1931.
6. Hottentots: Southern African race of shepherds who dress in animal skins.
7. “Catolicismo e Civilização,” Legionário, no. 87, September 27, 1931.