Under the Jack Tree, Brazil on My Mind

From time to time I sit near a jack tree in my backyard and let my memory float – back to the Middle West , very well kept in my heart since I was a youth  in  the  International Farm Youth Exchange program.

by Jorge E. M. Geisel

This old backyard tree of mine is the result of generations of “artocarpus integrifolia,”  a family of moraceae trees, originally Indo-Malaysian fruits or seeds, brought by the Portuguese imperialist caravels to the tropical areas of Brazil.


Here, I suppose, I’m under a quite inspired shade of arrogant colonial history and sad recollections of political insubordinations.


This mental engineering has saved me, frequently , from depression and anguish actuated by our national contradictions. I love my country so, but I must confess that my immediate expression of faith is inclined towards the blessings of freedom and its inherent rights – initiated and insured by the philosophical and practical revolutionaries who shaped these United States of America. What true inspiration!


An examination of the roots of American principles arrives at the conclusion that all the details were due to a definite plan and to the pursuit of definite ends, either human or divine.


The Confederation and, shortly thereafter, the Constitutional Union took America from internecine strife to the richest political and ethical heritage ever known.


We are obliged to stand in reverence of the enduring Federalist political conquests, brought into American life since its early struggles for independence.


Unfortunately , and generally , an obstinate world has sought the easier and engaging tendencies  of  centralism.  I  hope  that Americans, with  their  confederated  spirit  of  self-governing States, will resist these unitarian contumacies.


Otherwise, Union will move closer and closer, that is, regress to the times of George the Third and his tea-taxes… This is the main problem of our false federative republic: the  federal  center  of  Brasí­lia  supposes  and  imposes itself as the only capable driver of political truth and supreme wisdom , high above a huge and rich land of forgetfulness, without local freedom to solve its own urgent problems. 


So, we have been treated just like an oblivion of 170 million stupid people , from 26 united but dependent States laid by the heels…


Centralism doesn’t come up like an assault. It comes on soft velvet paws in order to protect people, to organize elections and to reduce the amount of political parties, more and more.


Central power and clients of its favors, have been allied based on anesthetization of common citizen’s wishes.  Centralists always say their “generous” scopes are imposed in order to protect people from risks and dangers of life…


When we open our eyes from the promises of paradise, then we realize we’re just following the convulsive path of a tyrannical centralization and progressive decay, generation onto generation, toward an amazingly unhappy end.


And then, reaching this top of maximum “protection,” we finally find out that our local liberties, as a political right, are not valid anymore.


In my case, I’m quite fortunate having a large backyard, where I may rest under a gentle shade of that old tree, a living proof of Portuguese colonial absolutism.


Under this natural protection, it’s also natural to combine mental speculation and acute observation of such facts, apprehended after the course of a long line of political frustrations. Time to wake up!



You can contact the author at jorgegeisel@hotmail.com

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