terça-feira, 24 de novembro de 2015

O conservadorismo de Evelyn Waugh

Evelyn Waugh aos 26 anos
pintado por Henry Lamb 


(do site First Principles)

Waugh não foi propriamente um escritor político (critico social mordaz e polemista feroz sem dúvida), mas deixou uma descrição exacta e fiel da sua maneira de pensar, nestas linhas concisas e objectivas, que podem igualmente ser lidas no seu livro Mexico: An Object Lesson (além das ideias que transmite nos seus romances fortemente influenciados pela sua mundividência e fé). 
Para todos os efeitos, Waugh foi um enfant terrible da direita, essa direita mal-comportada e com um snobismo aliciante que fascina mais do que indigna, um certo ar petulante e ao mesmo tempo inteligente, tão irreverente como feroz, altruístico e ao mesmo tempo provocador. Talvez o típico intelectual que um país como o Reino Unido pudesse produzir entre a época eduardiana e as duas grandes guerras, educado em Oxford, habituado à elite intelectual londrina, por sua vez herdeiro de uma linhagem antiga de intelectuais, que conviveu com o modernismo mas em bom tempo se converteu à fé Católica, amante como foi da hierarquia e da ordem social, da monarquia e da tradição católica - reaça até ao fim opôs-se ao Concílio Vaticano II. Mas um homem paradoxal também, no fundo, como todos os artistas o são. Ao mesmo tempo tradicionalista conservador e provocador astuto, aquele traço singular que podemos reconhecer em Chesterton, a sua maior influência. 

Deixo aqui uma pequena-grande proposta do pensamento waughiano através deste curto e profundo manifesto: 


 Let me, then, warn the reader that I was a Conservative when I went to Mexico and that everything I saw there strengthened my opinions.
I believe that man is, by nature, an exile and will never be self-sufficient or complete on this earth; That his chances of happiness and virtue, here, remain more or less constant through the centuries and, generally speaking, are not much affected by the political and economic conditions in which he lives; That the balance of good and ill tends to revert to a norm; That sudden changes of physical condition are usually ill, and are advocated by the wrong people for the wrong reasons; That the intellectual communists of today have personal, irrelevant grounds for their antagonism to society, which they are trying to exploit.

I believe in government; That men cannot live together without rules but that they should be kept at the bare minimum of safety; That there is no form of government ordained from God as being better than any other; That the anarchic elements in society are so strong that it is a whole-time task to keep the peace.

I believe that the inequalities of wealth and position are inevitable and that it is therefore meaningless to discuss the advantages of elimination; That men naturally arrange themselves in a system of classes; That such a system is necessary for any form of co-operation work, more particularly the work of keeping a nation together.

I believe in nationality; not in terms of race or of divine commissions for world conquest, but simply thus: mankind inevitably organizes itself in communities according to its geographical distribution; These communities by sharing a common history develop common characteristics and inspire local loyalty; The individual family develops most happily and fully when it accepts these natural limits. 
A conservative is not merely an obstructionist, a brake on frivolous experiment. He has positive work to do.

Civilization has no force of its own beyond what it is given from within. It is under constant assault and it takes most of the energies of civilized man to keep going at all.

Barbarism is never finally defeated; given propitious circumstances, men and women who seem quite orderly, will commit every conceivable atrocity.

Unremitting effort is needed to keep men living together at peace

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