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Raúl Scalabrini Ortiz: the one who stagnates rot

Argentine writer and intellectual who opened the way to understand national reality. And, by the hand of the man who is alone and waiting, he prepared faith in Argentina to do.

Raúl Scalabrini Ortiz

 Raúl Scalabrini Ortiz came from the Interior to discover a subject Republic in Buenos Aires: “We are a colonial Argentina: we want to be a Free Argentina,” he hammered in FORJA's manifesto in 1935 . He had completed a life cycle as a spoiled boy from the avant-garde, journalist committed to the brotherhood with Roberto Arlt, the first truly Argentine essayist, and in the mid-thirties he joined the first litter of artists who will exchange the pen for the rifle.  And when on  October 17, 1945  , “the spirit of the earth was present as I never thought to see it,” and it rained offers to public office, a suspicious silence for the obsequents of Peronism and was harassed . But he always knew which side his village was on and in June 1955, with the mutilated bodies still in Plaza de Mayo, he confesses to Leopoldo Marechal, “We must start doing everything again. All Again” He wrote the most hopeful book of a sad time, the Infamous Decade, and for the first time Argentines understood by their political books that it  is not “about changing the collar but to stop being a dog” 

Raúl Scalabrini Ortiz was born in Corrientes on February 14, 1898 into a maternal family rooted in the history of the Spanish conquest, and an Italian naturalist scholar father, Pedro. Two aspects that would mark Raul's childhood, linked to science, and ancestral knowledge. He studied surveyors and devoted himself as his contemporaries said he has “spend his shoes on the margins of the Silver” and that, in the words now of Scalabrini Ortiz, I have “left tenderness in all the houses of lenocinio”. Practice boxing in the basement of the Royal Keller, to the short walk of his mythical Esmeralda and Corrientes, and elbows with the young martinfierrist of Jorge Luis  Borges  and Eduardo Mellea. The years are the tales of “La manga” Despite what is believed to be not exclusive intellectuals in the twenties, partly influence the libertarian outbreak of the University Reform, and Scalabrini Ortiz could give cultural debates with the supposedly aristocrat group Florida and integrate a influential communist group, “I helped found the group Insurrexit... These dogmas left after revealing me, although the practice of communism left on me such a deep mark that my spirit seems like a pair of fraternal arms.”  Scalabrini Ortiz was never communist, no totalitarianism was the creed of a true national and popular intellectual, but the method materialistic will be the vane that orients his subsequent work on the colonial bases of the Argentine economy.  

After a learning journey through Europe, and another revealing to the Argentine deep interior, Scalabrini Ortiz starts an intense work in journalism, alternating the literary criticisms of the journals Martín Fierro, or Pulso, with etchings in the newspapers La Nación or El Mundo, where he replaces nothing more or nothing less than Artl, and adds greater political analysis to his “Porteños Notes”  Unlike previous writers, who look bobos at Europe, Scalabrini Ortiz in his “avant-garde urban creolism” (Sarlo dixit) will disrupt the lens forever of Argentine culture, and inaugurates in these arts' art. iacute; asses scattered national thought, “there is no positive science capable of calculating the distance that separates us from Madrid. Our meridian passes through the corner of Esmeralda and Corrientes, if it happens somewhere” Here is the first approach to contemporary Argentine, who also lives light-years from gaucho Martín Fierro and Don Segundo Sombra . Simultaneously, and at the base of Scalabrini Ortiz's next project, which moves from the soul and the porteña siquis to its material conditioning, some that are the same from Jujuy to Tierra del Fuego, the work of ordering the roles of Macedonio Fernández, the true brain and spirit of the first Argentine vanguard of the twentieth century.  His next step is the unfailing essay of any library that is respecting Argentina, “The man who is alone and expects.”  

 “ He's a man who is naked” 

“The great book representative of the concerns of the Argentine soul” was the promise of Scalabrini Ortiz that came to fulfill in the seminal essay of 1931, and that derived from this genre rather than tales by the insistence of its editor Manuel Gleyzer. A book that on a date as far as 1964 was still among the best sellers. At a time when only tango played this first generation born from the immigrational barrage, one that lived the emptiness leap from the village to the metropolis, “how to forget about this complaint”, Discépolo or “if the soul is in  orsai , che bandoneón&rdquo ;, Manzi,  Scalabrini Ortiz undertakes a timeless testimony of the Buenos Aires, “which is in Corrientes y Esmeralda... watershed, commercial, sentimental and spiritual of what is called Argentine Republic” A man who has a voice of his own, different from the Tilingan europeizations, and different from the American invasion. A “bible porteña”, “there is all the magic of life”, were the effective slóganes who repeated newspapers and radios, Scalabrini Ortiz, a fierce publicist, and who stamped “a treatise of love, friendship, politics, adventure, boredom and sexual tragedy of Buenos Aires rdquo; 

 A lonely and naked man, lacking the love of women, that is without happiness, who exudes the “metaphysics of the Pampa” at a key moment in vernacular history, myths broken, reputations deteriorated and the agrarian society sunk, and who can only aspire to escape into the future. Perhaps that is why it continues to be strangely persuasive almost a hundred years after its publication.  

“Let's dignified the word homeland”, appears in the appendix after chapters where Scalabrini Ortiz speaks of men who drain, the “you do not get in” as a symptom of an absurd statist paternalism (in 1931!) and the rehumanization of life, perfectly recognizable experiences for a Buenos Aires from the golden years of Carlos Gardel and the 3000, “let her get soaked again in the spirit of the earth. Whoever announces to disguise his personal interests, he who pronounces it as a capujo of his guild conveniences, economic complaints or in simple discord between capital and labor must be condemned to a hundred tunas in the buttocks,” the intellectual who valued this “spirit of the earth” as which prevented Argentina from being “a foreign factory... without soul... without further object to feed Europe” From that year, Scalabrini Ortiz buries the literate and emerges the scholar of the reality of “History of Argentine Railways” and “British Politics only in the Rio de la Plata”, both of 1940 and thousands of meticulous economic and political items. The historically conscious essayist and the national revolutionary emerge.

 The Homeland sold and bandaged 

“We took the economic and social realm what the historical review was discovering and perceived the thread of events and the policy that led them. This was substantially the work of Raúl Scalabrini Ortiz, whose talent as a researcher and writer and his sacrificed willingness to serve the country, cost him the loss of all the material triumphs he had at his disposal, but he rewarded him with the title that no one will ever be able to discuss him about discoverer of the Argentine reality” recognized  Arturo Jauretche  of the ideologue of the famous denunciation notebooks of FORJA, the left wing of radicalism founded on June 29 from 1935 -in Lavalle to 1700 and where a picana police station had operated, and that Scalabrini Ortiz interspersed with political militancy in the proscribed radicalism. He even suffered exile with his wife Mercedes Comaleras for participating in the Paso de los Libres uprising in 1933. He collaborates with the socialists of Alfredo Palacios on a national transport law. In 1939 he maintained the neutralist positions since his daily “Reconquista”, which brings together the best of national thought with Martínez Ortiz Pereira at the head, and is accused of Nazi. A year later the middle “New Order”, a germadophile and reactionary pasquin, requests his pen, “There are some friends who fell seduced by the mermaids of German propaganda and today want us to believe that the Germanic triumph will open for us looser perspectives. We believe that this assumption is naivety that can bring us grave evils. With “old order” or “new order”, from abroad we can expect nothing but humiliation.  We know that freedom, wealth and dignity are conquered.   FORJA's work is the preparation of that conquest that we Argentines must someday undertake,” said Scalabrini Ortiz. Five years later they would dissolve FORJA with Jauretche considering that Peronism was the realization of the projects that opposed the neocolonialism of the Infamous Decade

While Scalabrini Ortiz is initially reluctant to support Perón, after attending October 1945 he ponders the Peronist ideal of “humanizing capital”, noting “Capital does not fenece and therefore is fundamentally inhuman.  Humanizing capital then means - to my understanding - to place it, to transform it into mortal and perishable as the things to which it is applied.    General Perón's phrase opens up a new world of technical and mathematical possibilities in which a new relationship between human beings appears feasible  ” closes hopefully, and prefers a   second critical line that transforms it into dangerous for the minions of Peronism.  Over time he questions the dangerous totalitarian detours of Perón, the cult of personality and the persecution of opponents, although he always defends the popular line, “ here is not between Perón and the archangel Gabriel but between Perón and Federico Pinedo -representative of the oligarchy-”  Acallado publishes only a book of previous poetry although he maintains contacts with Perón, to whom he brings a new updated edition of his history of the railways in October 1950.

After the coup of the self-called Libertator Revolution, a series of ephemeral life magazines, “El Líder” and “El Federalista,” which are consequently closed by the dictatorship for its emphatic defense of Peronism. Participates in the development that brings President Frondizi to power but quickly abandons these radicals due to ominous oil contracts with multinationals, Scalabrini Ortiz who advocated the nationalization of the strategic resource as early as 1938 with “Argentine oil (Forja's Notebook) & rdquo; He died in Buenos Aires on May 30, 1959.

“Poor people: that is ours. Insipid plains in which imagination constantly works, inhuman rivers, inaccessible and sterile mountains make up the Homeland. The fruit of their pampas is for others and for others their flesh and thoughts.  We are borrowed on the land that is still unconquered and on which we have just a slight appearance of public domain, not real. Argentina is a typical example of America. His problems are the problems of this whole martyred continent. Whole America beats in them” , closed in one of his last writings in 1958, a new introduction to “History of Argentine Railways”, which never stopped updating scientifically. Urgent judgments by the national intellectual Scalabrini Ortiz for a country, a land, that we still look unseen.

 They say about Raúl Scalabrini Ortiz 

“You have the honor of being the forerunner, the formator of a promotion that fueled the National Revolution... I think that no one like you would be more effective, to promote and lead a movement that will bring together the liberation concerns of intellectuals who do not desert from man and the argentina land”,  letter from Juan Domingo Perón to Scalabrini Ortiz, 1958 

 Says Raúl Scalabrini Ortiz 

“Let us evict the idea of ease from our intelligence. It's not an easy task we've taken, but it's not a thankless task. Fighting for a high end is the greatest enjoyment offered to man's perspective. Struggling is, in a way, synonym of living: You fight with gleba to extract a handful of wheat. We struggle with the sea to transport goods and anxieties from one end to the other of the planet. He fights with the pen. He fights with the sword. The one who does not fight, stagnates, like water. The one who stagnates rot” in  Bases for National Reconstruction , 1965.

Sources: Scalabrini Ortiz, R.  History of Argentine railways . Buenos Aires: Editorial Devenir. 1958; Galasso, N.  Life of Scalabrini Ortiz . Buenos Aires: Colihue. 2009; Romano, E.  The footprints of imagination . Buenos Aires: Puntosur. 1991; 

Publication Date: 14/02/2021

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