Hope and rebellion

Osvaldo Bayer


When Osvaldo Bayer writes of rebellion, he is also highlighting the violence of oppression. From his two bases of Buenos Aires and Berlin, Bayer consistently explores the problems and dreams of man. The issues he delves into have led to bitter conflicts with Alvaro Abós, Rodolfo Terragno and Ernesto Sabato over the opportunism and responsibility of intellectuals, exile, memory and the military ("in this century the army has gone out onto the street to repress worker's movements, popular movements and to overthrow constitutional governments"), consumerism, the humiliation of the human being, the power of the State against the natural right of the individual to defend themselves, and the right of the individual to rebel. Bayer finds hope in his chapter "The children of the people", brief portraits of dreamers and utopian thinkers who pave the way for the future. The leitmotiv that runs throughout the book is the right to rebel against ‘institutional' violence and the author's solution: pacifist civil disobedience.

Each text by Osvaldo Bayer is a shock to the system. Wary of the banality of evil, he implements a principled ethical practice that exposes frauds, the frivolous, compromised radicals and mediocre figures with elitist principles, confronting them with the crude facts of history. The resistance of the individual is based on continuous denunciation of the present state of affairs and the attempt to clarify and shape public opinion: this is what he calls "his minor hope."


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