“Starting on [October] 29, without rest, we’ll start working to take down [media group] Globo, [newspaper] Folha [de S.Paulo] and all public enemies! Got it?,” wrote Olavo de Carvalho, a self-proclaimed philosopher who has become the mentor for a new right-wing generation in Brazil. He hates the label of “alt-right guru” he has been given, referring to himself as a “mere observer of reality.” But the truth is that thousands of Brazilian right-wingers look up to him as their political guide.
Based in the U.S. since 2005, Mr. Carvalho shares his adopted country’s passion for guns and carries himself as a sort of “Marlboro Man,” frequently posing with a cigarette in the corner of his mouth and wearing a cowboy hat.
Olavo de Carvalho is a divisive character. He’s either seen as a “master”, a teacher, “the only guy who calls it as it is,” according to one of his Facebook followers – a “true intellectual who rejects the status quo and the obviousness of Brazil’s academics,” as said another.
Others paint him with less flattering colors. He is, for some, the caricature of a conservative who fuels conspiracy theories (such as the international plan of the left to implant a Gramscian revolution). The people who follow his online philosophy courses are seen as brainless radicals who mimic him without much self-reflection. Olavo de Carvalho is also seen as an enemy of all, as he treats the left and part of the right as antagonists.