The Counter-Revolution – The Most Beautiful Gest in History

In the face of a process that seems to be advancing triumphantly to its sinister culmination, Providence raises up an irreversible reaction as an instrument for the final triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Having briefly covered the revolutionary process in its historical development and outlined its current status quo, it is worth devoting some lines to what Dr. Plinio defines in his masterly essay, “In the literal sense of the word, stripped of the illegitimate and demagogic connotations that have been joined to it in current language, the Counter-Revolution is a ‘reaction’. That is, it is an action directed against another action.”1

Such is the Counter-Revolution, the fundamental features of which we will try to offer a quick overview.

The Counter-Revolution, a standard on the march

Upon learning of this reactionary quality, one might think that the Counter-Revolution, in view of the splendid “architectonics” of the Christian order that shone in the Middle Ages, explained a few pages ago, simply aims to restore it. After all, “If the Revolution is disorder, the Counter-Revolution is the restoration of order. And by order we mean the peace of Christ in the Reign of Christ, that is, Christian civilization – austere and hierarchical, fundamentally sacral, antiegalitarian, and antiliberal.”2 This beautiful epigraph from Dr. Plinio’s work would seem to confirm the previous idea.

However, just prior, he emphasized that the fight must be waged against the Revolution “as it is in fact today. Therefore, it must be waged against the revolutionary passions as they seethe today, revolutionary ideas as they are formulated today, revolutionary ambiences as we find them today, revolutionary art and culture as they are today, and against the currents and the persons who, at whatever level, are the Revolution’s most active partisans today.”3 Thus, in the first decades of the third millennium, the adversaries are no longer the same ones against whom Dr. Plinio fought in the 20th century, but their heirs, far more advanced towards that pinnacle of evil that we were able to briefly examine in the previous article.

Under these conditions, it would be a mistake to give the Counter-Revolution the character of a nostalgic movement, anxious to re-establish the past in the form of “a false and narrow traditionalism that conserves certain rites, styles, or customs merely out of love for old forms, without giving any value to the doctrine that gave rise to them. This would be archaeologism.”4 The Counter-Revolution, as Dr. Plinio once said, “is not a museum, but a standard on the march.”5 Its goals are much more ambitious than a utopian return to the Middle Ages; they point, with utmost faith and hope, to the glorious era promised by Our Lady at Fatima and prophesied by numerous saints, including the great herald of the Blessed Virgin, St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort.

A restoration to the very foundations

What, then, will characterize this restoration to which Revolution and Counter-Revolution refers? “Instaurare omnia in ChristoTo restore all things in Christ” was the motto and ideal of St. Pius X’s reign, at a time when the effects of the process of disintegration of Christian Civilization were already reaching all layers of society. The Counter-Revolution could wish for nothing different from this goal in terms of principles, since these emanate from the purest Catholic doctrine. In accidents, however, it has consequences that demand special attention.

As Dr. Plinio explains, just as in nature, a tissue that is recomposed is usually stronger at the point of rupture – as is the case with scars or bone fusion – so too, “after each trial, the Church emerges armed especially against the evil that tried to prostate her.”6 Consider her response towards heresies, her care to prevent penitent souls from relapsing into sin, and so many other examples.

And he applied this principle to his struggle, in a famous conference: “The Counter-Revolution is a movement that aims not only to halt the Revolution, but to defeat it, exterminate it and implant the Reign of Mary. In other words, it is the establishment on this earth of a temporal order and, moreover, of a culture, a civilization, a spiritual state that are marked predominantly by the principles that the Revolution tried to eliminate, so that that these are brought to their ultimate consequences, to their greatest brilliance and to their apogee. And so that, out of the dark night of the Revolution, through the efforts of the Counter-Revolution, will come the greatest light, the greatest splendour of Christian Civilization, the most radiant state of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.”7

As he records in his work, “the order born of the Counter-Revolution must shine even more than that of the Middle Ages, in the three capital points where the latter was wounded by the Revolution.”8 Considering the precision with which they are defined by Dr. Plinio, we prefer to set them down word for word:

A profound respect for the rights of the Church and of the Papacy, and the sacralization, to the greatest extent possible, of the values of temporal life, all of this out of opposition to secularism, interconfessionalism, atheism, and pantheism, along with their respective consequences.

A spirit of hierarchy, marking all aspects of society and of the State, of culture and of life, out of opposition to the egalitarian metaphysics of the Revolution.

A diligence in detecting and combating evil in its embryonic or veiled forms, in fulminating it with execration and a note of infamy, and in punishing it with unbreakable firmness in all its manifestations, particularly those that have attacked orthodoxy and purity of customs – all out of opposition to the liberal metaphysics of the Revolution and its tendency to give free rein and protection to evil.”9

If this is the aim of the Counter-Revolution, the best way to achieve it is undoubtedly for its advocates to start by applying these principles in their lives. How can this be done?

Counter-revolutionary vigilance

For Dr. Plinio, a counter-revolutionary, in the full sense of the term, is someone who: “knows the Revolution, order, and the Counter-Revolution in their respective spirits, doctrines, and methods; loves the Counter-Revolution and Christian order, and hates the Revolution and “anti-order”. He makes of this love and this hatred the axis around which gravitate all his ideals, preferences, and activities.”10

Putting this formulation into practice requires a constant application of the Thomistic method of seeing, judging and acting. It is the role of all counter-revolutionaries to continually discern the influences, ideas and works of the Revolution in their surroundings, because there is no area of human activity that is not, to a greater or lesser extent, affected by it. Artistic schools often aim to transmit its doctrines and spirit; the products we consume almost always bear its imprint; mental habits, ways of being, speaking or dressing, the most diverse customs rarely escape its influence, favouring the darkening of supernatural horizons, the debasement of human beings and the corruption of morals.

An accurate analysis will show us how almost everything tends towards the egalitarian, the licentious, the merely functional or disposable. Without stating a priori that everything should be avoided, the counter-revolutionary must engage with these realities in such a way that they do not distort his healthy and objective view of things, producing in him a certain distaste for what is noble and perennial. Everything must be weighed and measured so that, depending on the case, it can be used wisely, or rejected and accordingly fought against.

This battle begins within each one of us. If, as Dr. Plinio said, “everything we admire permeates us in some way,”11 we need a position of constant admiration and, why not say it, proclamation of the good, the true and the beautiful, which leads to a growing rejection of evil, error and ugliness. Indeed, how can someone declare himself a counter-revolutionary while, for example, enjoying feverish contemporary music, the lyrics of which bear traces of the grossest liberalism, if not outright immorality? Or accepting forms of dress or speech that favour vulgarity and promiscuity? The unity of the Revolution’s work implies as a counterpart that “the authentic counter-revolutionary can only be a total counter-revolutionary.”12

Counter-revolutionary recruitment

Now, we must be objective and recognize how few people live up to this ideal today. In general, the counter-revolutionary “has a lucid notion of the disorders of the contemporary world and of the catastrophes gathering on the horizon. But his very lucidity makes him perceive the full extent of the isolation in which he so frequently finds himself, within a chaos that seems to him to have no solution.”13

Realizing the universality of the revolutionary process, he feels horrified and oppressed by the yoke of the growing corruption of the contemporary world, but he does not always know how to proceed. Hence the need to unite all those who find themselves in this situation, overcoming any defeatist spirit, to constitute a “family of souls whose strength is multiplied by the very fact of their union.”14 To this end, “counter-revolutionary action deserves to have at its disposal the best means,”15 and it can achieve this by wisely using what is available.

Furthermore, we should not neglect the huge portion of public opinion that is likely to sympathize with counter-revolutionary action, but is probably deluded or uninformed due to the revolutionary influence on the tendencies and the ideological confusion that reigns today. For them, “We must know how to show, amidst the chaos that envelops us, the complete face of the Revolution in its immense hideousness. Whenever this face is revealed, surges of vigorous reaction appear. […] The counter-revolutionary must unmask the whole face of the Revolution frequently, in order to exorcise the spell it holds over its victims.”16To thus tear away its veils is to deal it the hardest of blows.17

How many people, by means of a simple denunciation, have been awakened to the immense crisis in which we are immersed, when the Revolution seeks to make its conquests in an environment that is unreceptive due to some attachment, perhaps merely atavistic, to customs of the past. This tactic blocks the Revolution’s path because, in order to advance, it needs the unanimous support of public opinion. If a section of it stops, assaulted by reality, it becomes like a huge snake whose tail has been stepped on: its march loses its momentum, to the point of jeopardizing its objectives.

In order to decisively attract these crystallized people, the Counter-Revolution ought to proceed in the direction opposite to the dissimulation with which evil acts, for “in the journey from error to truth, the soul is not faced with the treacherous silences of the Revolution or its fraudulent metamorphoses. Nothing it should know is hidden from it.”18 This is where one of the most important characteristics of counter-revolutionary action comes into play, both in the personal sphere and in external action, be it individual or collective.

Integrity, the strength of the Counter-Revolution

A brief overview of the revolutionary process is enough to see how falsehood characterizes its manner of action on souls. The Counter-Revolution, on the other hand, always acts with integrity, following the words of the Divine Master: “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’” (Mt 5:37). For this reason, Dr. Plinio disdains the tactic “of presenting the Counter-Revolution in a more ‘friendly and ‘positive’ light, by which it does not attack the Revolution,” concluding that it will be “the most sadly efficient way to impoverish its content and dynamism.”19

Convinced that the splendour of truth has the power per se to attract any man of good will to follow it, he stresses that “One of the most salient missions of the Counter-Revolution is to re-establish or revive the distinction between good and evil, the notion of sin in theory, of original sin, and of actual sin.”20 The aim of this approach, which he liked to call “the policy of truth,” is to define the fields, avoiding one of the great contemporary errors – moral and doctrinal relativism – which, like the deviation denounced by the prophet Zephaniah, proclaims: “The Lord will not do good, nor will He do ill” (1:12). On the contrary, the goal is to follow Our Lord Jesus Christ who came “to be a sign that is spoken against, that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed” (Lk 2:34-35). It is clear, then, that “in face of the Revolution and the Counter-Revolution, there are no neutrals.”21

In the individual sphere, the indispensable need for integrity will be analysed in the next article, when we relate the Counter-Revolution to personal sanctification.

The counter-revolutionary struggle in the 21st century

After considering the principles set out so far, it is necessary to make a concrete application to our times. How do we act as counter-revolutionaries in the 21st century? We have already seen in the two previous articles how the tendential revolution reached a peak of relevance after the explosion of the Fourth Revolution. It is therefore up to the counter-revolutionary to carry out a work of reaction in the same field and with greater intensity.22

And since the pole of the counter-revolutionary struggle shifted in the last decades of the 20th century from the temporal to the spiritual order,23 it will be important to prepare the ground for the apostolate through liturgical celebrations that elevate supernatural realities to consideration, churches that mirror heavenly beauties in their pulchritude and ornamentation, and above all, children of the Church who transmit the ideals of the Counter-Revolution in their human type, that is, who are conformed in everything to the mentality of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

The irreversibility of the Counter-Revolution

It is a bold goal, no doubt, in the face of a universal enemy that has unlimited resources at its service and the support of all human powers. How to achieve it?

Dr. Plinio never shrank from the truth: “few things I could do would be as damaging to the [counter-revolutionary] vocation as to fail to show you the difficult and arduous side of our hopes – feasible only from a supernatural standpoint – but to present them instead as achievable by natural means.”24

The victory of good depends on divine intervention, for when men cooperate with God’s grace, marvels are worked in history
Vista da Baía de Guanabara, Rio de Janeiro

In fact, the hope of a victory for the good is substantially based on divine intervention, both in history itself and, first and foremost, within the souls that will make up the Reign of Mary. In another masterly epigraph, Dr. Plinio assesses the reasonableness – grounded in faith – of this perspective:

“One might ask what is the value of this dynamism. We respond that in theory it is incalculable and certainly superior to that of the Revolution: ‘Omnia possum in eo qui me confortat’ (Phil 4:13). When men resolve to cooperate with the grace of God, the marvels of history are worked: it is the conversion of the Roman Empire; the formation of the Middle Ages; the reconquest of Spain starting with Covadonga; all these events that result from the great spiritual resurrections which can also affect entire peoples. They are invincible resurrections, for nothing can defeat a virtuous people that truly loves God.”25

On this implacable theological truth, Dr. Plinio established his certainty about what he called the “irreversibility of the Counter-Revolution.” Faced with a movement whose strength lies in the exacerbation of the worst human passions – pride and sensuality – the emergence of a current that, supported by grace, aims not only to slow it down, but to exterminate it and implant the Reign of Mary, implies that no human or preternatural factor can stop its march to final victory.

What is this statement based on? On the conviction that God cannot fail to intervene in view of this apex of evil which ever more boldly dares to penetrate regions whose capitulation would jeopardize the credibility of the pillars of our Faith; on the promise of the immortality of the Church made by Our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Mt 16:18) and on the announcement of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary prophesied at Fatima.

On the latter, Dr. Plinio comments with ardour: “It is a triumph that will be the greatest in history, and it must be. Because the only way to triumph over a great enemy is with a great victory, and the only way to overcome profound darkness is with a greater profusion of light. So we can be sure that the Reign of Mary is irreversible. Everything leads us to believe that it must come, there are signs that it is beginning to come and, finally, we have an unfailing promise that it will come. So after the chastisement will come mercy, after the flood will come the rainbow. Then, in the end, will dawn the unfading and irrevocable glory of the Reign of Mary.”26 



1 RCR, P.II, c.1, 1.

2 Idem, c.2, 1.

3 Idem, c.1, 3.

4 Idem, c.3, 1, C.

5 CORRÊA DE OLIVEIRA, Plinio. Conversation. São Paulo, 17/10/1985.

6 RCR, P.II, c.2, 2.

7 CORRÊA DE OLIVEIRA, Plinio. Conference. São Paulo, 29/1/1967.

8 RCR, P.II, c.2, 2.

9 Idem, ibidem.

10 Idem, c.4, 1.

11 CORRÊA DE OLIVEIRA, Plinio. Conference. São Paulo, 3/10/1969.

12 RCR, P.I, c.9.

13 Idem, P.II, c.5, 1.

14 Idem, B.

15 Idem, c.6, 1.

16 Idem, c.8, 3, E.

17 Idem, c.5, 3, A.

18 Idem, c.8, 3, B.

19 Idem, c.7, 3, B.

20 Idem, c.10, 1.

21 Idem, c.5, 3, A.

22 Cf. Idem, P.III, c.3, 3.

23 Cf. Idem, c.2, 4, B.

24 CORRÊA DE OLIVEIRA, Plinio. Conversation. São Paulo, 6/2/1989.

25 RCR, P.II, c.9, 3.

26 CORRÊA DE OLIVEIRA, Plinio. Conference. São Paulo, 29/1/1967.



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