But, in the strength of the term, what is the family?

May 14, 2020

To me, family is equivalent to the family in its normality and, therefore, patriarchal.

Patriarchal should mean not the small nucleus family, that is only father, mother, and children, but rather a numerous cell family, with many children, and linked to a great number of relatives of various degrees on various sides, that frequent the house and give it motion.

[With the patriarchal family] is constituted an entirety with three distances:

  • The first distance is that of my own house, everything in affinity with me.
  • The next is that of the houses of my more distant family, some of them similar and some of them diverse.
  • And the third distance is that of the street, the fortuitous and casual point of encounter of every similarity and dissimilarity.

I am sustained by these three distances and able to expand in these three directions; when I go out, behind me and at my side, I have all of my kinfolk present in public and diverse places, thinking and feeling as I do, and [making their presence felt?]imposing themselves.

I am able to confront popularity or unpopularity because I have a [quadro] on which to support myself, as well as elements for the expansion of my personality.

How different is the situation of the miniscule family; father, mother, and children living within a household which, because it is made up of few people, has little variety, and due to this becomes monotonous.

[Their situation] being like this, they tend to flee, and they do so by either taking flight into the street or by bringing the street into the house. [This latter form of flight] is done by means of having two or three televisions in the house in various rooms, all in order to try to forget that they are at home, and to have the sensation of being on the street.

But, on the street, a person feels isolated. The child arrives at school isolated; the young boy or girl enter into society isolated. No one supports them.

In a way, they are manufactured by ab extrinseco propaganda, which in itself is forced upon them.

If they don’t wish to adhere, a persecution of ridicule and ostracism is mounted against them.

 The result is: interior insecurity, titubeation, doubt, isolation, capitulation.

After ten or twenty years of this phenomenon, if the person’s personality was not already more or less defined, it will have been destroyed.

He who doesn’t know how to be a cousin doesn’t know how to be a friend.  And he who doesn’t know how to be a friend doesn’t know how to be a cousin.

O Universo é uma Catedral: Excertos do pensamento de Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira recolhidos por Leo Daniele, Edições Brasil de Amanhã, São Paulo, 1997.

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