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Indian Tribalism: The Communist-Missionary Ideal for Brazil in the Twenty-First Century

Sometimes you hear and learn things while napping.
In the relaxed ambiance of a resort, imagine a tourist enjoying a full-month vacation stretching out in a comfortable easy chair where he closes his eyes for a nap.
He gently lets his memory wander in search of comforting memories that will be enticing to sleep.
People’s imaginations, however, are almost always tricky. By nature, every whim is stubborn. Without knowing why, the images that come to his mind (perhaps because of the beautiful forest in the distance), are photos or films about Indians, their customs, huts, feasts, mourning and war rites, which he had seen on different occasions.
The would-be napper finally manages to escape this indigenous persecution (not conducive to relaxation). He closes his eyelids in his insistent quest for sleep while softly and gently bringing to mind some great Western city such as Venice, Rome, London or New York. Or else, São Paulo, Rio, or Buenos Aires.
Now relaxed, our tourist feels sleep drawing near. Yet, his ears suddenly begin to hear the din of a conversation between people who just sat down in a nearby group of chairs in the same hotel lobby. Two people are talking.
By a rare coincidence (or perhaps telepathy?), they seem to be chatting precisely about the wild scenarios that had just plagued the unfortunate siesta hunter. One voice asks,
“So, what kind of group should serve as a model for human society: the tribe, or the big city?”
Between being surprised and indolent, the tourist wonders, still with eyes closed, who is asking this question with such an obvious and even banal answer.
However, he does not lose his hope of napping, as that which is dreary can also be sleep-inducing. Who knows if this conversation will help him fall asleep?
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