Spring in Buenos Aires is a season of surprises. One has to leave home dressed for the four seasons, equipped for a sudden rainstorm and such. Paraphrasing Mark Twain: “if you don’t like the weather here, just wait fifteen minutes.” Surprisingly enough, the fourth Saturday of November 2018 turned out to be a lovely day all day long. The two most popular soccer teams in the country were getting ready to play the final game for the Libertadores Cup, soccer’s highest trophy in the Americas. It was not to be. A band of fans of the local team surrounded the bus in which their adversaries were arriving to the field. The bus was pelted with stones, gassed with some unidentified toxic concoction, etc. The driver lost consciousness, two of the team members were seriously hurt, and various projectiles hit several other passengers hurting them as well. Some were very sick after inhaling some kind of tear gas. As I write this, it is unlikely that the game will ever happen.
You can read all about the incident, about the incompetence of the authorities to deal with the savages that roam this city at will, and the pitiful excuses blurted by the city mayor — a Harvard graduate— as the world wonders what is going to happen when twenty world leaders meet here next week. Said meeting is taking place a few dozen city blocks from the spot where those awful incidents took place. I will add no more details. Please read the major world papers, the shameful details are all there.
How could old gentle Argentina come to this? The Catholic country that started the 20th century as one of the most prosperous, free, and peaceful nations in the world is now in shambles. Just a few of many recent examples of local derangement: band of “vegetarian warriors” destroyed (twice) the venerable pizzeria Guerrin in downtown Buenos Aires. The magnificent monument to Christopher Columbus, donated to the nation long ago by grateful Italian immigrants, was unceremoniously removed from its place of honor and replaced with a monument to a female independence war hero. Hordes of anarchists routinely spray paint and vandalized historic landmarks, some of them harking to colonial times. I have lost count of the attacks on the Buenos Aires Cathedral that savages routinely desecrate without suffering any legal consequences. Argentina has a long history of violence and intolerance.
The characteristics of Argentina’s most radical political elements run parallel to those of Hitler’s Third Reich: a rabid anti-Catholicism, dehumanization and brutality directed towards fellow human beings, occultism, promotion of sexual depravity, eugenics and infanticide. It is no surprise that Argentina was a silent ally of the Axis during World War II while not very convincingly feigning neutrality.
On a previous article I provided a brief outline of Argentina’s political history. A copy of the United States Constitution (minus most of its checks and balances) was sanctioned as the Argentine Constitution in 1853 after half a century of instability. After that, from 1876 to 1916 Argentina experienced a very rapid development. Imagine Afghanistan becoming Canada in only four decades. It was at the end of that period that the Radical Party (a member of the International Socialist) took over. Come 1930 a certain young army captain called Juan Perón helped to instrument the coup that made General José Félix Uriburu the first in a long line of de facto military rulers.
“It was in 1934 that the International Eucharistic Congress took place in Buenos Aires with the assistance of the Papal Nuncio who later ascended to the Papacy as Pius XII, Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli. Between October 9 and October 14 the country lived in a constant state of holy fervor. The Mass that took place on October 10 was the largest in history until fairly recently. Massive conversions took place including that of the sitting President, Gen. Agustín P. Justo who renounced the Masonic sect after a long conversation with Cardinal Pacelli.” But the devil was not going to let Argentines go that easily. In 1943 another coup installed Perón among a circle of powerful military officers. In 1945, Perón was elected president; ten years later Peronist hordes would desecrate, sack and burn the churches of Buenos Aires. That appears to be contradictory with some definitions of Peronism as a “as a humanist and Christian movement in accord with the social doctrine of the Church” but contradictions are the stuff Peronism is made of.
The dark legacy of Peronism is vast. What interests us now is it’s re-awakening of the Argentine tradition of violent dehumanization of the adversary that was dormant during the early Conservative era. That dark flower is now in full bloom. In spite of claims to the contrary both the political left and right cultivate a form of hateful rejection of the totality of their opponent’s ideas. Juan Perón defined it in one of his unforgettable maxims: “To the enemy, not even justice!”
That lack of civil tolerance has permeated Argentine society to such extent that even a sports rivalry is a good excuse for an all out battle. A friend of mine who sometimes has brilliant insights commented: “A huge part of our society has concluded that social justice is the despoiling of the enemy’s possessions, even liberty. Who is their enemy? Their enemy is anyone who possesses anything they may want for themselves. Any action pursuant to the despoiling of the enemy is considered virtuous even if it is a violent crime.”
That is the murky inheritance of Peronism, not very different from the aftereffects of other collectivist ideologies. There is no “I and thou” but only a god-like “I” lusting for total possession, total control and oppression under the guise of concern for the oppressed.
That may help explain the spirit that has taken over Rome in recent years.
“Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil by good.” — Romans 12:21
“For the rest, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever modest, whatsoever just, whatsoever holy, whatsoever lovely, whatsoever of good fame, if there be any virtue, if any praise of discipline, think on these things.” — Philippians 4:8