Diacon Paper Otovo

Submitted By Christofer-Horta
Words: 1307
Pages: 6

The nation-building capacity that Cândido Mariano Da Silva Rondon represented was only a small part of what the elites in Brazil had planned for the future. At the turn of the 20th century, science and reason were justified as means of progress that both encompassed a united national identity and a prosperous economy. For Brazil, the process of nation building included expansion, nationalism, a common “Brazilian Race”, social reforms and among others, integration of the indigenous population. The role Rondon played in creating a new Brazil was key in the way these ideas would be implemented. The main component of that role was his philosophy of Positivism and his perceptions and expectations of what Brazil should be. Evidently, those that suffered the most from the expeditions at both the point of contact and then gradually through the years were the natives. Forging a future identity can be a daunting task for any new nation, much less one that covers such an expansive area. This would prove to be disastrous in the case of Brazil. For neither Rondon’s hope of catapulting Brazil as a morally full “civilization”, or the spreading of Brazilianess and brasilidade through technological missions were ultimately achieved.
The overwhelming mission Rondon set on to modernize Brazil in the early twentieth century was met with both fanfare and criticism in its early stages. In an era where humanities and expansion went hand in hand, the pace at which Brazil was growing, matched no other in Latin America. This partnership of inland movement and indigenous interaction would be tackled through implementing telegraph lines deep inside the dense forest regions. The idea was for the telegraph lines to act as a way of bringing modernity to the rural parts and the inhabitants of those areas. The main reason however, was bringing nationalism and all that came associated with it. By not taking into account the size of the complete expedition Rondon and his men faced many hardships. Already the morale for entering in the expedition was severely low for those who were assigned to the mission. Once assigned, “The constant fear of illness and injury combined with the agonies of forced recruitment and labor to create a dark and potentially explosive emotional, brew among commission soldiers”.1 In another aspect, the high demand for movement and migration into the interior was a priority for the commission. During the time of the rubber boom, many seeking fortunes in the industry left to the interior of the country. Yet instead of seeing masses of people move into the interior like Rondon had stated, all there was were telegraph lines, the ill soldiers that had placed them there, and some settlements of migrants.
Positivism shaped Rondon’s views of the world and the Orthodox form of it further enhanced his vision for the future. He saw his philosophy as “a blueprint for what should be done in Brazil and in the world”.2 His views on interaction with the native peoples of the forest were far too humanitarian in retrospect. Although he did posses some native blood and had a connection with those he encountered, his vision of “die if necessary but never kill” proved to be a failure when considering the success of the expedition. Was he too much of a preacher as opposed to an expansionist who had the best intentions of Brazil in mind? During the expedition he would tell his men, “the possibility of one day realizing the political utopia envisioned by the most brilliant of the Philosophers, Augusto Comte…would aid in the evolution of humanity”.3 Rondon represented an optimistic view of the indigenous population in a time where many others didn’t. His expectations of establishing peaceful relations with the Indians, would lead into the social evolution into the stage of Humanity. He is to be commended for acting as a strong force opposing the conversion into Christianity, but this alone wouldn’t be enough to protect those whom the commission came in