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Pessoa never approved of the 1933 Constitution or the New State, but accepted them 'for the sake of discipline' and the apparent lack of an alternative.
Shortly before he turned against Salazar, Pessoa still called himself a 'situacionista' [pro-establishment] without conviction.
Nobody has better summarized Fernando Pessoa's political thinking at his peak than Pessoa himself, eight months before he died: 'Conservador do estylo inglez, isto e, liberal dentro do conservantismo, e absolutamente anti-reaccionario' (2) ['A British-style conservative, that is to say, liberal within conservatism and absolutely anti-reactionary'].
The definition becomes almost perfect if we add to it his declared nationalism (which he would describe variously as 'mystic', cosmopolitan, liberal and anti-Catholic), his lifelong anti-socialism and anti-communism together with the Spencerian individualism of his youthful education.
They may also throw some light on hitherto unknown facets of his oeuvre. The last six years of Fernando Pessoa's life, 1930-35, coincided with Salazar's personal triumph in Portugal, his crowning as 'leader' of the country, and the setting up and consolidation of his New State, the authoritarian regime that he would lead until 1968.This article aims to give an account of the process by which the 'trust' and 'acceptance' that Pessoa had expressed in various remarks about Salazar and the New State (albeit always cynical and disenchanted in tone) gave way to doubts, condemnation and mordant satire.In some of his writings in the early 1930s that seem variations on Julien Benda's themes, Pessoa argued that intellectuals should forswear passions and sectarianism and place themselves intransigently on the path chosen by Romain Rolland, which was au-dessus de la melee.(5) He believed that in this way he was remaining true to his mission as an intellectual and, in fact, tried to be 'above all politics and all religions'.