Newer Age

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Positivism's National Holiday

Today is the 183rd aniversary of Brazilian Independence.

Born out of an atmosphere of visionary positivism, it is the only country that bears the words «Order and Progress» on its flag, and means them, the way they should be meant.

The innocent and naif positivist model of human evolution (Savage - Pagan - Christian - Positivist) made for an ideal match with the European view of South America: (Amazon Indians - Descendants of the Incas, etc. - Conquistadors - New Order)

There was enough room for all these world views, with the Positivist approach as the Queen, patronising the shit out of all the others, in order. If you don't know anything about positivism, you can do worse than read about the life of Auguste Comte - far and away one of the best contemporary chronicles of how a religion is born! :D

In celebration of this anniversary, I dedicate this post to:

1) The memory of General Rondon (a must-read!), the great explorer and pacifist who first defended the Indians, issuing the following order to the men of his Indian Service: «Die if you must, but never kill!».
I always bow to those who show a greater generosity of soul than I think I would under the same circumstances. In their place I would definitely go around with a Gatling.
If you want a good overview of the story of the Indians of the Amazon, I recommend Die If You Must

2) The brothers Villas Boas, those contemporary succesors of Rondon, and patron saints of Anthropology.

3) The slaves that came up with Angola Capoeira, the only martial art that is practiced while singing and dancing, and is the expression of the very soul of Brazil.

4) The outstanding Brazilian sativas.

5) Brazilian cinema, which produces (and will continue to produce) masterpieces, and makes the effort of going to the movies still worthwhile...

6) Iemanjá, goddess of te Soul and the Ocean.

For today, the jaded author of this missive casts his vote firmly in favour of Positivism, and proposes a toast to this country, which managed to bring to life a theory that would otherwise be condemned to the dustiest archives of some dark, distant library...


At 4:54 AM, Blogger John Hardy said...

Each star represents a state and the stars are the ones that were viewable over the Rio on 15/11/1889. Oddly the POV is not from the ground but from the outside of the Ptolemaic sphere of fixed stars. A sort of God's-eye view.

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